A B C D E F
G H I J K L M 

Total read books on site:
more than 10 000

You can read its for free!


Text on one page: Few Medium Many
I can not have the
pleasure of attending it, but I would like to take this opportunity of
telling you I am with you, heart and soul, in this cause--of thanking
you, and those with whom you are associated, for the noble work you
have done, and are doing, in the cause of universal suffrage. There
never was a more opportune time for calling a convention of this kind
than the present, when it is evident that the United States
Constitution is about to undergo some repairs--when all the so-called
radicals in Congress are trying to have it so altered as to insure the
disfranchisement of one-half the nation. They have so strangely
perverted the meaning of the term "universal suffrage," that it is a
misnomer as at present used by them. It is rather significant of the
"universality" of the suffrage intended, that every one of these
special guardians of freedom refused to present Congress a petition
for woman's enfranchisement; that the Massachusetts Senator who leads
the van of freedom's host, did, finally, most reluctantly present it
with one hand, while taking good care to deal it a blow with the other
that would prove a most effectual quietus to it; that a representative
[Mr. Boutwell], after repeating the self-evident truth that "there can
be no just government without the consent of the governed," says that
"man is endowed by nature with the priority of right to the vote
rather than woman or child;" that the two Senators from Massachusetts
have each proposed amendments to the Constitution holding out
inducements to the States to enfranchise all male inhabitants, but
none to enfranchise women, when they could have included them by
omitting one word; that that light of freedom, Mr. Greeley, of the
_Tribune_, states that "men express the public sense as fully as if
women voted" [speech in Suffield, Conn., last June]. These are a few
of the straws pointing to that sham labeled "universal suffrage."

The conservatives of the slave-driving school have had an odious
enough reputation, but I never heard of any of them taking measures to
so amend the Constitution as to insure the perpetuation of the
disfranchisement of sixteen millions of the nation, as would the
proposed amendments of Messrs. Sumner and Wilson. And these
Massachusetts Senators are called the foremost workers in the ranks of
liberty's grand army. If these are the foremost, Heaven save us from
those in the rear! Why does Mr. Boutwell try to make it appear that he
believes that governments, to be founded on justice, should obtain
"the consent of the governed," when he believes the consent of only
one-half the governed should be obtained? when he classes adults as
fully capable of exercising an enlightened judgment as himself with
infants? If Mr. Greeley thinks it right for one-half the people to
represent the wants, and speak as they may think best for the other
half, that other half having no choice in the matter, he must admit,
if he have a tithe of the sense of justice attributed to him, that it
would be only fair to let each half take their turn--the men
expressing the public sense a part of the time, then the women--thus
alternating between the two, in order to balance the scales of justice
with perfect equilibrium.

It seems rather a difficult matter for men to appreciate the fact that
women are ordinary human beings, with the wants and reasoning
faculties of the same. If women lived on the plane where sword and
cannon are resorted to for the procuring of justice, men might then
see the necessity of establishing equality of rights for all. But the
power of women lies in spiritual, not in brute force; therefore men
have failed to comprehend them, or to see the necessity of granting
rights that are not contested at the point of the bayonet. Add to this
the ambitious but weak love of power--of having some one to
rule--inherent in the natures of most men, and the causes of woman's
bondage are pretty clear. In the light of the developments of
the past few months it is plain that the most thorough faced
abolitionists--those who wax eloquent for the negro--are as much in
favor of continuing the slavery of women as were Southern planters of
continuing negro slavery. There are a few exceptions to this, and but
a few.

Even the Boston _Commonwealth_, perhaps as radical a paper as any now
published, and which favors suffrage for women, is a good illustration
of the difficulty of the most liberal-minded men seeing this question
in its true light; for, in its issue of February 24, it says that
"suffrage for women is not a political necessity of a republican
government."

The _Nation_ thinks women ought to be deprived of the franchise
because they do not, as a general thing, express a wish for it,
stating at the same time that they have as good a right to it as men.
Remarkable logic this, to deprive the whole class of the power to
obtain their dues because they do not _en masse_ express a wish for
them. There are men who do not care enough about the franchise to make
use of it; therefore, according to this argument, they should be
immediately disfranchised.

There is no compulsion in exercising the right to the vote--all can
let it alone who choose; and did every woman in the land choose to let
it alone, it would be no argument for withholding from her the power
to make use of it whenever disposed. But the statement that they are
opposed to it is untrue. No woman--whether teacher, or telegraph
operator, or government clerk, or dry-goods clerk, all the way down to
the poor needle-woman who lives under a reign of oppression as
frightful as that in the manufacturing districts of England--is paid
more than half or a third what she earns, or what a man would be paid
performing the same services, and performing them no better, in many
cases not so well; and the needle-women are paid no more than a tenth
part of what they earn. And yet women do not rise up against the
oppression that denies them the just compensation; therefore these
logicians of the _Nation's_ school must, to be consistent, argue that
women do not wish to have just wages paid them, and they should not
have just wages offered them--the right of accepting or refusing being
at their own option.

It seems to be full time for the women of this country to demand a
settlement of the question whether they are still to be treated as
infants or as intelligent adults. If the former treatment is to be
continued it would be very appropriate to present Congress with a
protest against having one-half the basis of representation composed
of those who are to remain in a state of perpetual infancy (which
needs and can have representation; whose government must be as
absolute as that of the Czar's, the very word "representative"
implying a substitute chosen by another)--a protest that if they are
too good--as often stated, too divine--to have any voice in such
earthly matters as governments, they are also too good to be thrust
just so far into the body politic as to swell the basis of
representation one-half, merely for the furtherance of the interests
of ambitious politicians, and then to be put one side and utterly
ignored when the voice of a free intelligent being is required.

It seems to be full time for women to take soundings of the depth of
the professions, and make calculations of the latitude and longitude
of the party to which alone they have looked for redemption from the
slavery in which they have ever been held, when the chief ones of that
party--now that there is any possibility of attaining that
object--utterly refuse all efforts in that direction, and, worse than
that, give indications of taking positive measures in the opposite
direction. It is important that Congress be flooded with petitions on
this matter--that it be allowed no rest from them; and, in addition to
petitions, a bill is needed excluding women from the basis of
representation so long as they shall be excluded from the
franchise--excluding them from the list of taxable persons and from
those who are by law liable to the death-penalty.

Should such a bill be tabled by Congress; should they refuse all
action on it that would place them in their true light, showing that
they look upon this question the same as the Southern Congress under
Polk, Pierce, and Buchanan looked upon the anti-slavery
movement--very much afraid of having the subject agitated; should they
give it a decided veto, that would place them in their true
light--greatly opposed to universal suffrage, although it is their
policy to sail under that banner, like the pirate who sometimes finds
an advantage in substituting for his own black flag some more
respectable one. Should they pass such a bill it would place them in a
better light than they have ever had the fortune to be in before,
while it would make it for the interest of the States to have this
bill followed up by another, giving women the franchise; and it is
very doubtful whether we will ever obtain it in any other way than
from motives of self-interest on the part of legislators--motives of
pure justice and right occupying a secondary place.

The statutes of the land present a remarkable conglomeration of
inconsistencies and injustice in regard to women, and show the utter
failure of the plan of having one class govern another class without
any consent or participation in the matter on the part of the class so
governed. The law ought not in certain cases to treat women as infants
and wholly irresponsible beings, merely to foster a weak ambition and
love of power, and in other cases as wholly responsible adults. The
infant regimen should be enforced thoroughly from the day of their
birth to the day of their death, whether it be in one year or a
hundred, or they should come, in all respects, under a system adapted
to responsible, intelligent adults. Infants should not pay taxes and
they should not be hung. It is the general opinion that the infant
Surrat committed crimes equal in magnitude to those of any of the
conspirators who were hung with her, but her state of infancy should
have afforded her legal protection from the gallows.



Pages: | Prev | | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | 30 | | 31 | | 32 | | 33 | | 34 | | 35 | | 36 | | 37 | | 38 | | 39 | | 40 | | 41 | | 42 | | 43 | | 44 | | 45 | | 46 | | 47 | | 48 | | 49 | | 50 | | 51 | | 52 | | 53 | | 54 | | 55 | | 56 | | 57 | | 58 | | 59 | | 60 | | 61 | | 62 | | 63 | | 64 | | 65 | | 66 | | 67 | | 68 | | 69 | | 70 | | 71 | | 72 | | 73 | | 74 | | 75 | | 76 | | 77 | | 78 | | 79 | | 80 | | 81 | | 82 | | 83 | | 84 | | 85 | | 86 | | 87 | | 88 | | 89 | | 90 | | 91 | | 92 | | 93 | | 94 | | 95 | | 96 | | 97 | | 98 | | 99 | | 100 | | 101 | | 102 | | 103 | | 104 | | 105 | | 106 | | 107 | | 108 | | 109 | | 110 | | 111 | | 112 | | 113 | | 114 | | 115 | | 116 | | 117 | | 118 | | 119 | | 120 | | 121 | | 122 | | 123 | | 124 | | 125 | | 126 | | 127 | | 128 | | 129 | | 130 | | 131 | | 132 | | 133 | | 134 | | 135 | | 136 | | 137 | | 138 | | 139 | | 140 | | 141 | | 142 | | 143 | | 144 | | 145 | | 146 | | 147 | | 148 | | 149 | | 150 | | 151 | | 152 | | 153 | | 154 | | 155 | | 156 | | 157 | | 158 | | 159 | | 160 | | 161 | | 162 | | 163 | | 164 | | 165 | | 166 | | 167 | | 168 | | 169 | | 170 | | 171 | | 172 | | 173 | | 174 | | 175 | | 176 | | 177 | | 178 | | 179 | | 180 | | 181 | | 182 | | 183 | | 184 | | 185 | | 186 | | 187 | | 188 | | 189 | | 190 | | 191 | | 192 | | 193 | | 194 | | 195 | | 196 | | 197 | | 198 | | 199 | | 200 | | 201 | | 202 | | 203 | | 204 | | 205 | | 206 | | 207 | | 208 | | 209 | | 210 | | 211 | | 212 | | 213 | | 214 | | 215 | | 216 | | 217 | | 218 | | 219 | | 220 | | 221 | | 222 | | 223 | | 224 | | 225 | | 226 | | 227 | | 228 | | 229 | | 230 | | 231 | | 232 | | 233 | | 234 | | 235 | | 236 | | 237 | | 238 | | 239 | | 240 | | 241 | | 242 | | 243 | | 244 | | 245 | | 246 | | 247 | | 248 | | 249 | | 250 | | 251 | | 252 | | 253 | | 254 | | 255 | | 256 | | 257 | | 258 | | 259 | | 260 | | 261 | | 262 | | 263 | | 264 | | 265 | | 266 | | 267 | | 268 | | 269 | | 270 | | 271 | | 272 | | 273 | | 274 | | 275 | | 276 | | 277 | | 278 | | 279 | | 280 | | 281 | | 282 | | 283 | | 284 | | 285 | | 286 | | 287 | | 288 | | 289 | | 290 | | 291 | | 292 | | 293 | | 294 | | 295 | | 296 | | 297 | | 298 | | 299 | | 300 | | 301 | | 302 | | 303 | | 304 | | 305 | | 306 | | 307 | | 308 | | 309 | | 310 | | 311 | | 312 | | 313 | | 314 | | 315 | | 316 | | 317 | | 318 | | 319 | | 320 | | 321 | | 322 | | 323 | | 324 | | 325 | | 326 | | 327 | | 328 | | 329 | | 330 | | 331 | | 332 | | 333 | | 334 | | 335 | | 336 | | 337 | | 338 | | 339 | | 340 | | 341 | | 342 | | 343 | | 344 | | 345 | | 346 | | 347 | | 348 | | 349 | | 350 | | 351 | | 352 | | 353 | | 354 | | 355 | | 356 | | 357 | | 358 | | 359 | | 360 | | Next |

N O P Q R S T
U V W X Y Z 

Your last read book:

You dont read books at this site.