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But she took
courage when she learned that the mission-house and the long
block of tenement houses on one side of the street were built by
women, who daily feed 400 poor children, and that this was done
by women, who took up the work after the Methodist Church had
made a vain effort to do something to ameliorate the condition of
those poor starving creatures.

On motion of Mr. H. B. Blackwell a vote of thanks was tendered to
the citizens of Detroit, to the Detroit Suffrage Association and
to the press of the city for favors and courtesies shown to the
Association and its members during its meeting in this city, and
for the full and fair reports of the Convention. The Association
then adjourned.

* * * * *

The seventh Annual Meeting of the American Woman Suffrage
Association was held at New York, in 1875. There was a large
audience,[198] not less than 1,000 persons were present.

Bishop GILBERT HAVEN, President of the Society, took the chair,
and called upon Rev. Dr. THOMPSON, of Brooklyn, to open the
meeting with prayer. After which Mr. HAVEN said: In appearing
before you to-night as the official head, for a very few hours,
of the society which holds its annual meeting here, I deem it
proper to burden you before you get at the richness of the feast
that will follow, with a few thoughts that are in my own mind
connected with this reform. The inevitable effect of every true
idea is that it shakes off everything that hinders it and rises
far superior to all associations. Woman suffrage has reached that
development, and the public of America and England are beginning
to appreciate it. Now, what is this idea? It is simply this--that
the right of suffrage has no limitation with the male portion of
the human race; that it belongs alike to the whole human family.
I am a Democrat, a Jeffersonian Democrat, and I believe in the
right of every man to have a voice in public affairs. It is a
right that belongs to the very system of our government.
Monarchical governments recognize the nation as belonging to a
family; but the democratic system recognizes a government by the
people and for the people, and, if this be the government, every
person in the nation has a right to participate in its
administration. There is no partiality possible in such a
conception of the system of government under which we live.

Charles Sumner said that "equality of rights is the first of
rights," and this will reveal itself in every department of
citizenship. Our Government requires the expression of the views
of the whole people upon every national question; it is a human
right belonging to the political status of every individual, the
woman as well as the man. The history of Christianity has been a
history of the gradual enlarging of the sphere of woman; and this
meeting to-night is one of the effects of Christianity. We stand
now at the beginning of a new century; the last has been one of
great development, and yet the very root fact of our national
being lies in the first line of the Declaration. When we declared
ourselves to be a Nation, we declared equality for all men, and
we never meant by that, equality simply for all males. Jefferson
never had that narrow view of human nature. He knew it meant all
the people of America. Every one had a right to life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness, the woman as well as the man.

It is said women can not rule. Not rule! look through history.
Where are Cleopatra and Semiramis, and Zenobia and Catharine, and
Elizabeth and Victoria? Not rule? Did not Joan of Arc save France
when the king had fled, and the armies were scattered, and
English soldiers did their will in all that land? So Elizabeth
picked up a prostrate nation, lowest of the low, despised of
emperor, king, and Pope, and made it the sovereign power of
Europe. So Victoria held back Palmerston and Russell and
Gladstone and Derby, who would have plunged England into war with
us, and left us free to subdue our enemy. Had not a woman ruled
England we should have had a harder task than we did by far.
Christianity has lifted woman to a level with man. It has given
her liberty of movement, of faith, of life. It also demands her
political deliberation. May this beginning of our second
Centennial see the perfection of our political system, in this
admission of woman to all the rights and duties of citizenship.
It has worked well in Wyoming. It will everywhere. Let it come.

Rev. ANTOINETTE BROWN BLACKWELL, of Somerville, N. J., said: A
few days ago, in one of the New York dailies, I saw the
announcement that one subject which now occupies the minds of the
American people can never be settled till it is settled right.
Knowing that this Convention was just at hand, I mentally
exclaimed, "It is certainly woman suffrage!" But no! it was the
question of the National currency. Well, the currency question
did suggest great moral issues, and it was vital enough in
character to justify the editorial claim. I believe it never can
be settled till it is settled right. But what is the currency
problem to a direct question of human rights, involving the
highest moral and civil interests not only of all the women in
the country, but of all the men likewise? This suffrage question
never can be settled till it is settled right. So surely as the
law of justice must yet prevail, it will continue to vex and
trouble the whole nation continually.

Because the sexes are so unlike in their natures and in all their
relations to the State, there is imperative need of
representation for both. Women in beleaguered cities have again
and again stood heroically side by side with men, suffering
danger and privation without a murmur, ready to endure hunger
and every form of personal discomfort rather than surrender to
the enemy. What women have done in the past they would willingly
do again in the future in like circumstances. They are everywhere
as patriotic as men, and as willing to make sacrifices for their
country.

But their relations to the government in war are of necessity
widely unlike. If men as good citizens are bound to peril their
lives and to endure hardships to aid the country in its hour of
need, yet women peril their lives and devote their time and
energy in giving to the country all its citizens, whether for
peace or war. And if the liberties of the nation were in real
peril, they would freely devote their all for its salvation. In
any just warfare it is fitting that the young men should first
march to battle, and if all these were swept away, then the old
men and the old women might fitly go out together side by side,
and, last of all, the young mothers, leaving their little
children to the very aged and to the sick, should be and would be
ready in their turn to go also, if need be, even to the
battle-field rather than suffer the overthrow of a righteous
government. But woman's relations to war are intrinsically unlike
man's. Her natural attitude toward law and order and toward all
public interests must always differ from his. Women would never
be the producers of wealth to the same extent with men. The time
devoted by the one class to earning money would be given by the
other to rearing children. Yes, this question touches too many
vital interests ever to be settled till it is settled right. We
mean to live, to keep well and strong, and to continue to trouble
the whole country until it is settled and settled to stay. There
can be no rest from agitation till this is done.

LUCY STONE spoke particularly of the need of using the
opportunity the Centennial gives, to show that, if it was wrong
for George III. to govern the colonies a hundred years ago
without their consent, it is just as wrong now to govern women
without their consent; that if taxation without representation
was tyranny then it is tyranny now, and no less tyranny because
it is done to women than if it were done to men; that the
usurpation of the rights of women is as high-handed a crime as
was the usurpation of the rights of the colonists by the British
Parliament, and will be so regarded a hundred years hence. She
claimed that this occasion ought to be used to show men that the
deeds of their ancestors, of which they are so proud, are worthy
of their own imitation; she urged women to refrain from joining
in the Centennial, and to show no more respect for the power
which governs them without their consent, than did their brave
ancestors a century ago.

The PRESIDENT said--I understand there is among the audience the
famous Democrat of England, CHARLES BRADLAUGH, and I will call
upon him to say a few words.

Mr. BRADLAUGH at once came forward from the rear of the hall,
where he had been sitting, and mounting the platform, said: I
only came forward in obedience to a call which it would be
impertinence to refuse here to-night. I came to be a listener and
with no sort of intention of making any speech at all, and the
only right I should have upon this platform is, that for the last
twenty-five years of my short life I have pleaded for those
rights which you plead for to-night. The woman question is no
American question, no national question; it is a question for the
whole world, and the best men of every country and of every age
have held one view upon it, and the worst men have naturally held
the other view.



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