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Not whether many or few women are
demanding political enfranchisement; not whether the
marriage institution, as now regulated, is right or wrong;
not whether this woman, or that, advocates "free love," so
called, or anything else; not whether a wife will continue
to be true to her marriage vows, or a mother faithful to her
maternal instincts; not whether the cradle will be rocked,
the pot boiled, and household affairs dutifully looked
after; not whether women are better or worse than men; not
whether they will vote wisely or foolishly, if allowed the
ballot. These and a thousand similarly absurd issues are but
mockeries. The one question to be settled is, shall the
principles and doctrines of the Declaration of Independence
be reduced to practice, so that taxation and representation
shall go hand in hand, and the grand truth be made
practically, as well as theoretically valid, that all are
equally endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable
rights, and that all governments derive their just powers
from the consent of the governed?

Yours for equal rights, WM. LLOYD GARRISON.

Letters were also read from George W. Julian, Frances D. Gage,
and Oliver Johnson. The Committee on Business then reported the
resolutions,[191] which were unanimously adopted, after a short
speech by Col. T. W. Higginson.

Mrs. JULIA WARD HOWE referred to the organization of the
association and the necessity for it. We had felt that existing
associations had failed to represent the methods and convictions
which belonged to our way of thinking. No right of a free society
is more valuable than the right of free association, in virtue of
which those who are able and willing to work can choose their own
fellow-workers and adopt the center of activity which best
corresponds with their feeling and with their homes. The
experience of two years has confirmed our opinion of the
propriety of the measures then adopted. We made no attempt to
cajole or allure those who did not belong to us.

I am sure that as our work in common has gone on we have grown in
good-will. We are fighting our battle still, but do not see our
victory yet. We are not opposing men and women, but the enemies
of men and women--ignorance, prejudice, and injustice. Many
people bring into a new movement the whole intensity and unreason
of their personal desires and discontents, and the train of
progress must carry all this luggage along with it. Woman
suffrage means equality in and out of marriage.

Mrs. Howe referred to the fact that women had been educated not
to depend upon themselves, and drew a graphic picture of their
condition should the tide of prosperity ebb from under them.
Remember, too, I pray you, that power to do ill can not be denied
without including the power to do good. The question as to
whether men, in case that women should vote, would be less polite
to women, was touched upon. The speaker said, "that if ladies
wish to retain this deference, they certainly pay a dear price
for it." The speaker was opposed to arguing that the right of
woman suffrage was guaranteed in the XIV. and XV. Amendments. I
go further back and find the spirit of all liberality in every
liberal clause, and the spirit of all freedom.

ROBERT DALE OWEN followed, and said woman suffrage was the only
means of rectifying the injustice of the laws. His attention was
first called to the value of suffrage when he endeavored to get a
modification of the property laws for married women in 1836. As a
member of the Indiana Legislature, he tried three successive
years in vain to obtain for wives a right to their own earnings.
He was fifteen years in effecting it. When the law was passed
securing married women in their earnings, one of his
fellow-members solemnly warned him that homes would be broken up
and family happiness ruined, and that for all this unmeasured
misery he would hereafter be held responsible. But the law still
stood upon the statute book of Indiana, and homes were not
destroyed.

The Rev. Mrs. CELIA BURLEIGH was the next speaker. She pictured,
in a witty, epigrammatic manner, the progress of freedom in
womankind. The picture drawn was of an Asiatic seraglio, where
the spirit of revolution crept in, and the ladies commenced their
incendiarism by walking abroad, and then followed up the direful
unsexing of themselves by gradually removing the inviolable veil
first from one eye and then the other--and last and most
horrible of all--from the nose. But it made her none the less
lovely.

Mr. EDWARD M. DAVIS then spoke briefly, and was followed by Mrs.
LUCRETIA MOTT, who gave some interesting reminiscences of the
contempt for women manifested by the World's Convention in 1840,
from which women delegates were excluded, and of which William
Lloyd Garrison, in consequence, refused to become a member.

The President, Mrs. CUTLER, said: It seems clear to me that the
XIV. and XV. Amendments recognize our rights. The XIV. Amendment
was passed in the interest of a special class, but we must not
forget that the passage of a general law for a particular class
also guarantees whatever rights can be found to come under that
same general idea. [Applause.] First, we have the definition of
citizenship, which applies to us fairly and squarely under the
phrase all "persons." Then comes the right to vote. Some say it
is not a right but a privilege. I maintain the contrary. I say it
is an inalienable right. You can not maintain a republican form
of government and deny to half the population its right to vote.
This may not be settled to-day or to-morrow, but the truth, like
a mighty rock, stands there impregnable against all assault. We
do not need to be in too much haste. Let the matter be sifted
thoroughly. I do not object, therefore, to the phraseology of the
resolution.

Mr. CHARLES BURLEIGH said: I have never yet been able to see that
the right of voting is secured legally to women under any
instrument which is recognized as having the force of law. A
republican form of government does not mean universal suffrage.
We know that the framers of the Constitution never dreamed that
the idea of a republic would include even all the males of the
country. If this is not a correct idea I answer that when you
make an affirmation you must accept that affirmation as the
makers of it understood it. I hold we have no right to go to any
use of legal quibbling in the matter. If we stand on simple
right, let us stand there; if on constitutional authority, we
have no right to warp that authority. So with the question of
citizenship. It does not imply a voice in the government, by any
means, to be a citizen.

Mr. BLACKWELL, on behalf of the Business Committee, offered some
resolutions.[192]

Dr. H. T. CHILD spoke upon the second resolution. As a peace man
and as a temperance man he was in favor of the resolution.

Colonel HIGGINSON said: If the resolution that has just been read
commits this body to the peace, temperance, or any other
movement, I would oppose it. Every great moral movement must
stand by itself. Napoleon said that the next worse thing to a bad
general was two good generals. I do not oppose it as an
intemperate man, nor as a war man, for I served too long in the
army not to wish for peace. I simply want my wife to vote, and
how she votes can be dictated by her conscience. I don't believe
in hitching the woman question to anything. Emerson said if you
want to succeed you must hitch your wagon to a star, but two
stars will only cause confusion.

Mr. EDWARD M. DAVIS opposed the temperance, etc., resolutions. We
had better not, he said, pass anything but suffrage on this
platform.

Mrs. GOUGH said the resolution did not indorse the peace and
temperance movements. It simply opens up a channel of education.
Woman needs the growth and development coming from the exercise
of higher powers than she now possesses. The resolutions were
then unanimously adopted.

At the afternoon session the officers for the next year were
elected. The presidency was accorded to Mrs. Lucy Stone. The
speakers at this meeting were Dr. Stone, of Michigan; Mrs. Lillie
Devereux Blake, of New York; John Cameron, of Delaware; John
Ritchie, of Kansas; Mrs. Margaret V. Longley, Mrs. M. W. Coggins,
Miss Matilda Hindman, Mrs. Cutler, Miss Mary Grew, Mrs. Lucas,
sister of John Bright, and others.

Mrs. JULIA WARD HOWE, at the evening session offered resolutions
of thanks for the hospitality extended to the members of the
Association by the citizens of Philadelphia, and also for the
able and impartial manner in which the proceedings of the
Association had been reported by the press of the city. In a
brief address, Mrs. HOWE then summed up the proceedings of the
Association, saying that she had never attended a convention
where such entire harmony had prevailed, and where such an amount
of good work had been accomplished. Every one, she was sure,
would go away happy and contented.

The President, Mrs. CUTLER, then made the valedictory address,
complimenting the audience for the attention they had shown and
the interest they had manifested in the proceedings. She alluded
to the fight for freedom in the days gone by--a fight in which
nearly all present had taken a part, and prophesied that as they
had won that fight they would win the fight in which they were
now engaged.



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