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The policy of the war, our whole
future life, depends on a clearly-defined idea of the end proposed,
and the immense advantages to be secured to ourselves and all mankind,
by its accomplishment. No mere party or sectional cry, no
technicalities of Constitution or military law, no mottoes of craft or
policy are big enough to touch the great heart of a nation in the
midst of revolution. A grand idea, such as freedom or justice, is
needful to kindle and sustain the fires of a high enthusiasm.

At this hour, the best word and work of every man and woman are
imperatively demanded. To man, by common consent, is assigned the
forum, camp, and field. What is woman's legitimate work, and how she
may best accomplish it, is worthy our earnest counsel one with
another. We have heard many complaints of the lack of enthusiasm among
Northern women; but, when a mother lays her son on the altar of her
country, she asks an object equal to the sacrifice. In nursing the
sick and wounded, knitting socks, scraping lint, and making jellies,
the bravest and best may weary if the thoughts mount not in faith to
something beyond and above it all. Work is worship only when a noble
purpose fills the soul. Woman is equally interested and responsible
with man in the final settlement of this problem of self-government;
therefore let none stand idle spectators now. When every hour is big
with destiny, and each delay but complicates our difficulties, it is
high time for the daughters of the revolution, in solemn council, to
unseal the last will and testament of the Fathers--lay hold of their
birthright of freedom, and keep it a sacred trust for all coming
generations.

To this end we ask the Loyal Women of the Nation to meet in the church
of the Puritans (Dr. Cheever's), New York, on Thursday, the 14th of
May next.

Let the women of every State be largely represented both in person and
by letter.

On behalf of the Woman's Central Committee,
ELIZABETH CADY STANTON.
SUSAN B. ANTHONY.

[41] _Vice-Presidents._--Elizabeth Cady Stanton, of New York; Angelina
Grimké Weld, of New Jersey; Fannie W. Willard, of Pennsylvania; Mary
H. L. Cabot, of Massachusetts; Mary White, of Connecticut; Mrs. E. O.
Sampson Hoyt, of Wisconsin; Eliza W. Farnham, of California; Mrs. H.
C. Ingersol, of Maine.

_Secretaries._--Martha C. Wright, of New York, and Lucy N. Colman, of
New York.

_Business Committee._--Susan B. Anthony; Ernestine L. Rose, New York;
Rev. Antoinette B. Blackwell, New Jersey; Amy Post, New York; Annie V.
Mumford, Penn.

[42] See Appendix.

[43] _Resolved_, 2. That we heartily approve that part of the
President's Proclamation which decrees freedom to the slaves of rebel
masters, and we earnestly urge him to devise measures for emancipating
all slaves throughout the country.

_Resolved_, 3. That the national pledge to the freedmen must be
redeemed, and the integrity of the Government in making it vindicated,
at whatever cost.

_Resolved_, 4. That while we welcome to legal freedom the recent
slaves, we solemnly remonstrate against all State or National
legislation which may exclude them from any locality, or debar them
from any rights or privileges as free and equal citizens of a common
Republic.

_Resolved_, 5. There never can be a true peace in this Republic until
the civil and political rights of all citizens of African descent and
all women are practically established.

_Resolved_, 7. That the women of the Revolution were not wanting in
heroism and self-sacrifice, and we, their daughters, are ready in this
war to pledge our time, our means, our talents, and our lives, if need
be, to secure the final and complete consecration of America to
freedom.

[44] The following is the abstract:

_State._ _Men._ _Women._ _Total._

New York 6,519 11,187 17,706
Illinois 6,382 8,998 15,380
Massachusetts 4,248 7,392 11,641
Pennsylvania 2,259 6,366 8,625
Ohio 3,676 4,654 8,330
Michigan 1,741 4,441 6,182
Iowa 2,025 4,014 6,039
Maine 1,225 4,362 5,587
Wisconsin 1,639 2,391 4,030
Indiana 1,075 2,591 3,666
New Hampshire 393 2,261 2,654
New Jersey 824 1,709 2,533
Rhode Island 827 1,451 2,278
Vermont 375 1,183 1,558
Connecticut 393 1,162 1,555
Minnesota 396 1,094 1,490
West Virginia 82 100 182
Maryland 115 50 165
Kansas 84 74 158
Delaware 67 70 137
Nebraska 13 20 33
Kentucky 21 21
Louisiana (New Orleans) 14 14
Citizens of the U. S.
living in New Brunswick 19 17 36
------ ------ -------
34,399 65,601 100,000

[45] The exact number of signatures, as ascertained by Senator
Sumner's clerk was 265,314

[46] Behind Clara Barton stood Frances D. Gage and others aiding and
encouraging her in the consummation of her plans; with Dorothea Dix in
the Hospitals, the untiring labors of Abby Hopper Gibbons and Jane G.
Swisshelm must not be forgotten. Three noble daughters, with hand and
heart devoted to the work, made it possible for Josephine S. Griffing
to accomplish what she did in the Freedman's Bureau. With Anna
Dickinson stood hosts of women identified with the Anti-Slavery and
the liberal republican movement; and behind the leaders of the
National Woman's Loyal League stood 300,000 petitioners for freedom
and equality to the black man, and the select body demanding the right
of suffrage for woman, who thoroughly understood the genius of
republican institutions.

[47] The facts that Miss Carroll planned the campaign on the
Tennessee; that Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell originated the Sanitary
movement; and that those Senators most active in carrying the measure
for a Freedman's Bureau through Congress, intended that Mrs. Griffing
should be its official head, are known only to the few behind the
scenes, facts published now on the page of history for the first
time.




CHAPTER XVII.

CONGRESSIONAL ACTION.

First petitions to Congress December, 1865, against the word
"male" in the 14th Amendment--Joint resolutions before
Congress--Messrs. Jenckes, Schenck, Broomall, and
Stevens--Republicans protest in presenting petitions--The women
seek aid of Democrats--James Brooks in the House of
Representatives--Horace Greeley on the petitions--Caroline Healy
Dall on Messrs. Jenckes and Schenck--The District of Columbia
Suffrage bill--Senator Cowan, of Pennsylvania, moved to strike
out the word "male"--A three days' debate in the Senate--The
final vote nine in favor of Mr. Cowan's amendment, and
thirty-seven against.


Liberty victorious over slavery on the battle-field had now more
powerful enemies to encounter at Washington. The slave set free; the
master conquered; the South desolate; the two races standing face to
face, sharing alike the sad results of war, turned with appealing
looks to the General Government, as if to say, "How stand we now?"
"What next?" Questions, our statesmen, beset with dangers, fears for
the nation's life, of party divisions, of personal defeat, were wholly
unprepared to answer. The reconstruction of the South involved the
reconsideration of the fundamental principles of our Government, and
the natural rights of man. The nation's heart was thrilled with
prolonged debates in Congress and State Legislatures, in the pulpits
and public journals, and at every fireside on these vital questions,
which took final shape in three historic amendments.

The first point, his emancipation, settled, the political status of
the negro was next in order; and to this end various propositions were
submitted to Congress. But to demand his enfranchisement on the broad
principle of natural rights, was hedged about with difficulties, as
the logical result of such action must be the enfranchisement of all
ostracised classes; not only the white women of the entire country,
but the slave women of the South. Though our Senators and
Representatives had an honest aversion to any proscriptive
legislation against loyal women, in view of their varied and
self-sacrificing work during the war, yet the only way they could open
the constitutional door just wide enough to let the black _man_ pass
in, was to introduce the word "male" into the national Constitution.
After the generous devotion of such women as Anna Carroll and Anna
Dickinson in sustaining the policy of the Republicans, both in peace
and war, they felt it would come with an ill-grace from that party, to
place new barriers in woman's path to freedom. But how could the
amendment be written without the word "male"? was the question.

Robert Dale Owen, being at Washington and behind the scenes at the
time, sent copies of the various bills to the officers of the Loyal
League in New York, and related to them some of the amusing
discussions. One of the Committee proposed "persons" instead of
"males." "That will never do," said another, "it would enfranchise all
the Southern wenches." "Suffrage for black men will be all the strain
the Republican party can stand," said another. Charles Sumner said,
years afterward, that he wrote over nineteen pages of foolscap to get
rid of the word "male" and yet keep "negro suffrage" as a party
measure intact; but it could not be done.

Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton, ever on the watch-tower for legislation
affecting women, were the first to see the full significance of the
word "male" in the 14th Amendment, and at once sounded the alarm, and
sent out petitions[48] for a constitutional amendment to "prohibit
the States from disfranchising any of their citizens on the ground of
sex."[49]

Miss Anthony, who had spent the year in Kansas, started for New York
the moment she saw the propositions before Congress to put the word
"male" into the National Constitution, and made haste to rouse the
women in the East to the fact that the time had come to begin vigorous
work again for woman's enfranchisement.[50] Mr.



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