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The want of
the ballot prevents woman from possessing knowledge and power. If
a woman performs the most menial services for the sake of her
children, to eke out for them a subsistence, she does not do it
because the law demands it, but because there is no other way
open to her to obtain a livelihood. She did not ask for the
ballot because the laws of the State are barbarous. She did not
believe that men can make laws that will answer to the needs of
women. Only when men and women together make laws can they be
just and equal, and for that reason there should be both men and
women in the Legislature.

Mrs. BLACKWELL read some additional resolutions[196] to those
that had been adopted at an earlier stage of the Convention.

At the first evening session Mrs. Lucy Stone presiding, Mrs.
JULIA WARD HOWE, of Boston, was the first speaker. In opening she
spoke of the silent weary work, of the results of which the
afternoon's reports told, and showed that the equal suffragists'
labor is not comprised in facing pleasant audiences and listening
to the applause which so many say is the one thing for which the
women in this movement work. Her entire speech was in a tone that
could not fail to convince all, that she, at least, works for
something higher.

Mrs. STONE said that in every time of need, wherever the womanly
workers for woman go, they find men to whom their gratitude flows
as the rivers flow to the sea--they are the men who stand up to
speak in woman's name in behalf of woman's rights. As one of
these men she introduced Gen. Voris, of Ohio, the champion of
equal suffrage in the Ohio Constitutional Convention. The speech
of Gen. Voris was a close, logical argument. It reviewed the
entire question of suffrage, and bristled with points. He was so
frequently interrupted by applause that he was obliged to ask the
audience to withhold their tokens of approbation till he got
through, but it was to little purpose, for enthusiastic
suffragists couldn't help letting their hands tell their ears how
good the General's hard hits at the anti-suffragists made them
feel, and the applause would still break out once in a while.

Mrs. MARY A. LIVERMORE was next introduced. She was greeted with
applause, and commenced by an allusion to the Scandinavian origin
of our race, and their characteristic bravery, vigor, and love of
freedom. The Scandinavians were distinguished from other races by
their regard for their wives. With them the woman stood nearer to
heaven than the man. She was in some sense a priest, a law-giver,
and a physician, and she was worthy of the position. Is it
strange that with such foremothers we should love liberty?
Something of this spirit has always marked the race. And now
women ask for the right of suffrage, not because they are abused,
but because they are half of humanity--the other half of man.
They want simply equality, not superiority. She spoke of laws in
the statute-books which do absolute injustice to men, and asked
whether if the men could not legislate better than that for
themselves, it was not a little ridiculous for them to assume to
legislate for themselves and the women too? Mrs. Livermore spoke
of some of the injustice of the law to women. The law is not for
you, gentlemen, who are a law to yourselves, and who care for
your wives so that they forget the injustice of the law. They are
for the poor and down-trodden women, the wives of drunkards and
wife-beaters. Make them what they should be. But the main claim
of women to the ballot is that it is the symbol of equality.
Women can never be made men. There is no danger of woman losing
her womanhood. In fact we do not dream yet what womanhood can be.
Women are now obsequious. Many who want to vote, in awe of
husbands, fathers, sons, the pulpit, the press, ruled by men, do
not say so. They have been taught through all the centuries that
patience is the highest attribute of woman. She spoke of the
division of masculine and feminine attributes. They complement
each other, and together make the perfect whole. The assertion
that women are slaves is nonsense. The great reason for woman
suffrage is that it will aid a higher and grander civilization.

The following letter was read:


BOSTON, 148 Charles Street, October 10, 1874.

H. B. BLACKWELL, Esq.: My dear sir--I am sorry my first
letter never reached you, for I said in that just what I
wanted to express of my own convictions touching suffrage
for women. My opinion will go for very little, but whenever
an opportunity occurs I wish to say just this if nothing
more. It is my firm conviction that all who oppose so just a
cause as woman suffrage know not what they do; and, if they
are not dead within five years, will repent their opposition
in deep and mortifying self-reproach.

"The seed of the thistle," says Tyndall, "always produces
the thistle," and our opponents will have a prickly time of
it with their own consciences, when the day dawns in
righteousness over the American ballot-box. God prosper the
struggle and give you heart and hope, for your triumph is
sure as sunrise, and will win that final mastery which
heaven unfailingly accords to everlasting truth. Cordially
yours,

JAMES T. FIELDS.

Short speeches were then made by Giles B. Stebbins, Mrs.
Blakeman, Miss Strickland, Miss Patridge, and Mrs. Dr. Mary F.
Thomas. Mr. BLACKWELL reported the list of officers[197] for the
ensuing year.

Afterward addresses were made by Mr. Blackwell, Mrs. Elizabeth R.
Churchill, Mrs. Samm, Miss M. Adele Hazlett, and Gen. Voris.

Mrs. MARGARET W. CAMPBELL, of Chicago, said she came before the
audience to speak upon the most important question of the day,
important to one half, and through them to the other half of the
community. This movement is no crusade of women against men, but
an honest effort of both men and women to make one sex equal in
all respects with the other. When our forefathers attempted to
secure their own liberty they adopted the principle that all men
are created free and equal, and are endowed with certain
inalienable rights. Notwithstanding this, the Government allowed
the maintenance of slavery for over three-quarters of a century.
Rights are God-given. If any man can tell where a man gets his
right to vote, he will find that woman obtained hers in the same
place. The ballot, she claimed, was a means of educating the
class who exercise the power of such ballot.

Mrs. MARGARET V. LONGLEY, of Ohio, said this question of woman
suffrage was one that was claiming the attention of the best
minds of Europe and America. Women think they have as good a
right to the ballot as men, and this right they want to exercise.
Lunatics and idiots are deprived of the ballot because they do
not know how to use it. Criminals are denied it because they are
outcasts of society and have proved themselves unworthy of it.
Women are deprived of it because of their womanhood. The sexes,
she said, were never made to be antagonistic. Experience proves
that what is of interest to women is of interest to men. There is
no branch of business or of industry in which concession is
granted to women on account of their sex. Nobody will pay more to
a woman for any work than they will to men for the same work, and
in the making of a suit of clothes it is seen that they pay a man
more than double the amount they will to a woman for the same
work.

Prof. ESTABROOK said that he was a recent convert to this
movement. He had read the Bible, Bushnell, and Fairchild, and
some others, and was convinced that women ought not to vote. When
the question was submitted to the people by the Legislature, he
commenced to read the Bible and Bushnell and others again. He
found that Bushnell proved too much, and that the objections
urged against women voting were equally good against nine-tenths
of the men. The question of propriety--whether women should go to
the polls--was another question which he considered. He did not
now see why it was improper for woman to go where her husband or
her son must go; and if the polls are not good places, decent men
ought not to go there. He had all his life debated the question
whether the University should be opened to ladies, and his first
vote, cast as a Regent of the University, was in favor of the
admission of women to the University. He was then opposed to
their entering the medical department. But they next applied for
admission to the law department, and he voted for that, and then,
when they applied for admission to the medical department, he had
to vote for that. He had never found out what right a man
possesses to the ballot that a woman has not; and if anybody
could convince him that the right of woman to vote did not come
from the same source as man's right came from, he would be glad
to have it done.

Miss MARY F. EASTMAN said it was a hard thing to stand and demand
a right to which we were all born. It has been said by Dr. Chapin
that woman's obligations compel her to demand her rights. There
is a great cry going up from humanity, and only woman's nature
can answer it. As she recently stood at the corner of the five
streets which make the Five Points of New York, and looked at the
crowd of miserable people about her, she was aghast.



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