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The corruptions of to-day are the legitimate results
of the want of woman's influence in the formation of public
opinion. That influence is comparatively ineffectual because it
is narrowed to the small sphere of domestic life. No one can
suppose that an opinion unsupported by authority can have weight
enough to grapple with evils which have their root in the lawless
part of man's uneducated, undeveloped nature. The most that such
a sentiment can do is to enlarge itself by discussion, and every
other available method, until it is strong enough to incorporate
itself into legislative enactments, from whence it may shape and
modify daily life.

While much can be done in molding and directing public opinion,
the consummating force of legislation must be brought into play.
If woman possessed the elective franchise, her influence would be
greatly strengthened by her political power. The desire of reform
would naturally express itself in the selection of candidates who
would embody those ideas. Legislators chosen by men and women
together, would represent a higher level of thought, and would
tend to legislate more directly in favor of reform than if chosen
by men alone, for woman represents the moral principle, even as
man the intellectual, and knowing that the tone of legislation
rarely, if ever, rises higher than the moral level of the people
by whom the legislators are chosen, we insist upon the absolute
necessity of that principle being allowed to officially express
itself. Maudsley justly remarks "that great as is the intellect,
the moral nature is greater still;" that "the impulses of
evolution which move the world come not from the intellect, but
from the heart."

Long and cordial letters were read from William Lloyd Garrison
and Mrs. Frances D. Gage. At the first evening session addresses
were made by Mr. Blackwell, Mrs. Stone, and Mrs. Campbell, of
Maine. The reports from the different State societies were
listened to the next morning. After the report from Massachusetts
had been given by Mr. Blackwell, Miss LELIA PATRIDGE, of
Pennsylvania, spoke as follows: To one advocating this matter of
equal suffrage, one of the noticeable things is the monotony of
the objections brought against it, although each one is brought
forward as if just evolved from the inner consciousness of the
objector and never thought of before. One of these most commonly
heard is that women do not want to vote. Suppose they do not,
gentlemen; that is no excuse for you, for it is a matter out of
their jurisdiction--a thing which you control, and as they have
no power, they have no responsibility, and you can not shift it
thus from your shoulders. But they do want it; the best, most
intelligent, thoughtful women--those of whom we are proud--do
want it, and it is only those who are either ignorant or selfish
who say, "I have all the rights I want." This sounds hard, but it
is true. Because a woman is so shut in, protected and happy that
she does not feel the need of the ballot for herself, it is sadly
selfish for her to fail to consider that all women are not so
fortunate. But if she could once experience the great gain which
woman suffrage would be to all the great questions of morals and
reform which have seemed to belong particularly to those who are
wives, mothers and sisters, she would hesitate no longer, but
hasten to join that grand army of noble women who are pleading
for equal political rights. There is hardly a large-brained,
large-hearted woman either in this country or England who is not
a pronounced suffragist. How can women who are indifferent upon
this subject, so keep back the coming of right and justice to
their sex, when such women as Lucy Stone and others are giving
their lives to the cause? She is no more a woman than we. Some
men say, with the one in Colorado: "Now, I'm agin suffrage. I
believe that the Almighty made one spear for wimmin and one spear
for men, and I b'l'eve that the wimmin orter keep to her'n, and
the men ort to keep to his'n;" and I agree. But who shall decide
as to "spears?" Are the men alone to say?

At the afternoon session LUCY STONE presented to the audience
Prof. R. T. BROWN, who has never failed to lift his voice in
favor of the recognition of woman's equal right to a collegiate
education, and who received the public thanks of many ladies of
this city recently, as a testimonial of their appreciation of the
step taken by him in resigning his chair in the Medical College
Faculty, because women were to be henceforth debarred entrance
thereto.

Dr. BROWN said: I have been engaged in this work for forty years.
When I began, I stood absolutely alone. I worked ten years and
made only one proselyte, and that was my wife. All mathematicians
know that if they can establish one or two points in a curve,
they can project that curve to its completion. In this way we
have established several points in our great work of suffrage,
and now we can see how to complete it. The work must go on. Truth
is immortal and will prevail. From the boasted civilization of
ancient Greece and Rome, which was nothing but an aristocracy, we
trace the gradual development of woman up to the present time.
During all that time the right of suffrage has been extended, and
now we have a male oligarchy. And we call this a republic! This
is not a popular government, as it has been called. Only one half
its citizens have a voice in its management. Now, we are trying
to make this a strictly popular government, and, to do this, the
right of suffrage must be extended to woman. The great object of
all government is the higher development of its citizens. The
government can not be an entire success until women have the same
rights as men.

Mrs. Dr. MARY F. THOMAS, of Indiana, said: In behalf of the woman
doctors of the State, I will say that Prof. Brown has stood up
for their advancement for the last twenty-five years. A few years
ago the women of Indiana petitioned for a local-option temperance
law. To-day I believe that they demand a prohibitory law, and
nothing short of that will satisfy them. I am in favor of woman
suffrage. To secure to us this right we must work for it. What
women can do when they try, was shown by the women's exhibit at
the late State Fair. Public sentiment is increasing on our side,
and we intend to show our power at the next Legislature.

Mrs. H. M. TRACY CUTLER said: Many of us have grown old in this
work, and yet some people say, "Why do you still work in a
hopeless cause?" The cause is not hopeless. Great reforms develop
slowly, but truth will prevail, and the work that we have been
doing for thirty years has paid as well as any work that has ever
been done for humanity. The only hope of a nation's salvation
from miserable demagogy lies in woman suffrage. With the
advancement in education and civilization, I say to myself--the
glory of the Lord is shining on women. With the advance in
womanhood there will be an advance in manhood, and this will be
one of the grand results of equal suffrage.

A long argument was then made by Hon. George W. Julian. After the
Convention was called to order at the evening session, the
Committee on Nominations[204] reported.

Miss MARY F. EASTMAN, of Massachusetts, spoke as follows: It has
been said that the greatest study of mankind is man. I do not
know but we shall all believe, before we get through the three
days' session of this congress, that the greatest study of
womankind is woman! Indeed, from being a good deal overlooked in
various ways, she has come to be almost the topic of the age, and
strangely enough is she considered. According to the standpoint
of the observer, woman is a riddle to be solved, a conundrum to
be guessed, a puzzle to be interpreted, a mystery to be
explained, a problem to be studied, a paradox to be reconciled.
She is a toy or a drudge, a mistress or a servant, a queen or a
slave, as circumstances may decide. She is at once an
irresponsible being, who must accept the destiny which comes to
her with as little power of resistance as the thistle-down upon
the wind, or the sea-weed which the tide leaves to bleach on the
rocks or sucks back to engulf in its own unfathomed depth--or she
is responsible for everything, from Adam's eating of the apple in
Paradise to the financial confusion which agitates us to-day; the
first because she coveted so much knowledge, the second because
she wants so many clothes. I wish we could, as speedily as
possible without a general crash, lay aside this nonsense
(regardless of the great loss of sirens and angels, which really
never seemed to me exactly adapted to earthly conditions), and
learn to regard woman as simply a human being, plus the powers
and gifts peculiar to her sex, just as man is a human being, plus
the powers and gifts peculiar to his sex. Here is a common basis
of likeness sufficient to give community of interests and
pursuits, with a variation which makes them mutually attractive
and serviceable, each recognizing in the other the complement of
himself and herself....

Speeches were also delivered by Mrs. S. E. Franklin, Rev. Fred.
A. Hinckley, and Mrs. J. Ellen Foster. The Rev. John Snyder, of
St. Louis, the last speaker of the evening, although the hour was
late, highly entertained the audience with an address on the
rights of all humanity.

* * * * *

The Tenth Annual Meeting of the American Woman Suffrage
Association was held at Cincinnati, November 4th and 5th, 1879.
The hall had been tastefully decorated.



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