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The meeting was called to order by
Henry B. Blackwell, Secretary of the Society, who read the call
and introduced Mrs. LUCY STONE as Chairman of the meeting. Mrs.
Stone prefaced her address by a historical statement of the
interesting facts of woman's enfranchisement and disfranchisement
in New Jersey.[201]

The HUTCHINSON family sang with thrilling power and sweetness
"The Prophecy of Woman's Future."

Mr. BLACKWELL said: The Philadelphia newspapers are discussing
the question whether the second or the fourth day of July is the
real anniversary of American Independence. I give my vote for the
second of July for a reason which has not been generally named.
On this day the men of New Jersey, for the first time in the
world's history, organized a State upon the principles of
absolute justice. For the first time, they established equal
political rights for men and women. This was a greater event than
the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration only announced
the principle that "governments derive their just powers from the
consent of the governed," but the men of New Jersey applied the
principle alike to women and negroes. By as much as practice is
worth more than theory and life more than raiment, by so much is
the event we celebrate more glorious than any other in the annals
of the Revolution. It was the prophecy and the guarantee of our
national future.

Some people say that we celebrate a failure, because thirty-one
years later the franchise was taken away from the women of New
Jersey. But the generation which enacted woman suffrage did not
repeal it. New Jersey was first settled by the Puritans and
Quakers--educated and intelligent, full of the spirit of liberty.
Soon after the State was organized, this population was
overwhelmed by an ignorant immigration from Continental Europe.
Slavery became a power. Free schools did not exist. Another body
of men supplanted the intelligent founders of the State and
lowered its institutions to meet the lower level of character and
purpose.

Another lesson we should never forget is, that the women of New
Jersey lost the franchise because they voted against extending
this right to others. The women were generally Federalists. They
were said to have given the electoral votes of the State to John
Adams against Thomas Jefferson in 1800. The Democratic party was
bent upon enfranchising the poor white men who were excluded by a
property-qualification. The women, then as now conservative in
character, opposed this extension of suffrage. In 1807, when the
Democrats got possession of the State Government, they put out
the women and colored men and introduced the poor white men. With
this warning before us, let us rejoice that American women have
taken so warm an interest in the emancipation and enfranchisement
of the slaves--that every colored delegate whom I met at the
National Republican Conventions of 1872 and 1876 recognized the
women as their friends, and were ready to help put a woman
suffrage plank into the platform.

Also, let me congratulate you that the Prohibitionists and
Republicans have each adopted our principle of equal rights for
women in their party creeds, and that in the nomination of
Rutherford B. Hayes, a woman suffragist, we have a man whose
first public reputation was won as the champion of a wronged and
friendless woman.

The HUTCHINSONS gave a spirited song. Mr. RAPER, of England, was
then called, and gave an interesting sketch of the progress of
woman suffrage in England. The afternoon meeting was opened by a
song, "One Hundred Years Hence," by the HUTCHINSONS.

CHARLES G. AMES said: This meeting stands for something good and
necessary--better than anything we can say. The advocates of
impartial suffrage are the most consistent friends of the
principles upon which our institutions are founded, because they
alone propose to apply them. All others shrink from this
application. They distrust human nature. They are afraid to move
for fear of what may follow. They are like the Frenchman, who,
being a little drunk, had dropped his hat and apostrophized it
thus: "If I try to pick you up, I shall myself fall down. If I
fall down, you can not pick me up. Therefore I will go on without
you." But woman's enfranchisement will open every college door
and every avenue of employment. Every woman will be cared for, as
every man is now cared for. A government without justice is
tyranny, piracy, and despotism. A society without justice would
be a hell. The lower elements of appetite and passion exist in
society. They must be overcome by the higher elements of justice.
With justice will come heavenliness, purity, and peace. Thus, in
opening the proceedings of this afternoon, we represent in 1876
the principles of 1776--the principles which will triumph more
clearly and gloriously in 1976.

Mrs. HOWE said: Heaven gives each of us two human hands. One is
meant to receive the gifts of Providence, and one is meant to
give largely of what we receive to others. Ignorant, selfish
human beings too often hold out but the one hand. They receive,
and are satisfied with that; but they do not give. They seem to
say to divine Providence, "What is yours is mine, and what is
mine is my own." Nevertheless, in the order of this same
Providence, what we give is as important to our happiness as what
we receive. The rich man who has done nothing to enrich the
community in which he lives, has really profited very little by
the wealth he has amassed and inherited. Himself commanding the
means of refinement and luxury, he lives surrounded by poverty,
barbarism, and crime; and these, from the beginning of his career
to the end, poison the very sources of his life. As much worse is
it with those who receive liberty and do not give it, as liberty
is better than money. "Give me liberty or give me death!" says
Patrick Henry. He receives it. Does he give it to his slave? No.
To his wife? Still less. What does he have of it, then? Only one
half--the selfish half of possession, not the joyous and generous
side of sympathy and participation.

These Jerseyites, it seems, were wiser than any in their day and
generation. They saw the anomaly, the contradiction between a
free manhood and an enslaved womanhood. They saw it taking effect
at the sacred hearth, beside the tender cradle. And they saw
their way out of it. What they received and valued as the
greatest of God's gifts, they gave to their women, rational,
human creatures like themselves, bone of their bone and flesh of
their flesh, only made to exemplify that peaceable and loving
side of human nature whose beauty has been always felt, and whose
triumph is written among the eternal prophecies which time only
fulfills. Honor then, to-day, to those truly brave and generous
men who, with their own hands unbound, were not afraid to unbind
the hands of their wives and mothers! Honor, too, to the women
who were intelligent enough to appreciate the gift, and wise and
brave enough to use it. No scandal accompanied its exercise.
There was no talk in that time of the women deserting their
household fires, their tender children, to fulfill their duty to
the State. In that State, in those women, culminated the success
and significance of the American Revolution. Remember the other
States did not think so, neither did the men or the women who
planned the International Exhibition of to-day think so. But it
was so, none the less. And we to-day must light our torches at
that very topmost flame of freedom, or they will smoke instead of
burning.

Mrs. ANTOINETTE L. BROWN BLACKWELL said she came as a
representative from New Jersey, her adopted State, whose unique
suffrage endowment, one hundred years ago, we are here to
celebrate. The ebb and flow which is the law of all progress, has
temporarily deprived our women of the franchise. But it will be
restored in the near future. "I have neighbors, whose mothers and
grandmothers voted, and who are beginning to recall the fact with
pride and satisfaction." Ex-Governor Bullock, of Massachusetts,
has well said that "Historically, woman, in America, is now at
the acme of her power." But at our next Centennial, men and women
will stand together, acknowledged peers, at the acme of human
achievement.

Mrs. ELIZABETH K. CHURCHILL said: The right of suffrage is always
either inherited or earned. The women of America have earned
their right by their work in the Revolution and in the Civil War.
The inertia of women themselves is the greatest obstacle of our
movement. But, in order to perform the duties which fall upon
them in humane and charitable work, women need that their rights
should be guaranteed by the franchise.

Miss HINDMAN urged the importance of suffragists working inside
the churches. Here is where the sympathies of society center. We
have eight million professed Christians, church-members;
three-fourths of these are women. Miss Hindman gave very
encouraging accounts of success in enlisting the pastors and
women of the churches in the suffrage work, also of the growth of
woman suffrage sentiment among the temperance women of the West.

The HUTCHINSONS sang "The Star Spangled Banner," the audience
joining in the chorus.

Mrs. STONE uttered her dissent for the words and spirit of the
song so long as women are without political rights. In conclusion
she offered the following resolutions:

1.



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