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If this
government is too weak to decide the qualifications of voters; too
weak to extend freedom from the northern coast of Maine to the
southern coast of Florida; too weak to prevent any State
disfranchising its inhabitants; too weak to make ignorance,
criminality, and non-age the only political limitations for man or
woman, be they black or white, or a combination of all the hues of the
rainbow; too weak to send tyranny to the wall and make liberty the
universal rule for this broad land; then a party must and will arise
of sufficient metal to infuse into it the requisite strength--a party
that will "strengthen its weak hands and confirm its feeble knees."

Concentration of power for the establishment and extension of liberty
is not a tendency to despotism. Despotisms are never built out of that
material. But that is a despotism as bad as Austria that allows
one-half its citizens to govern the other half without any consent of
theirs; and it is none the less a despotism for being divided up into
petty State despotisms than if carried on by the general government,
so long as they are all agreed on disfranchising one-half the people.
Thirty-six despotisms make a pretty good sized one taken in the
aggregate. The party to inaugurate the reign of freedom must
inevitably arise, for the elements to bring it into power are at work.
Morally, it will tower as far above the present republican party as
that did above the old ones--whig and democratic. There are true
souls, women and men, in the Old World and the New, faithfully working
and watching for its advent.

Some months ago we got word from over the water that John Stuart Mill
had been elected to that formidable body of conservatism--the British
Parliament. Another significant fact, but this time significant of
good. The writings of Mill are illumined by the sun-clear radiance of
that liberty for which he appeals--a liberty that shines with the
steady light of a fixed star--and which I have watched for in vain in
the writings and speeches of the most noted reformers on this
continent. When men like him come into power I think we have good
ground for taking fresh courage. I have written more than I intended,
but the subject is one on which I do not feel like restricting myself,
especially when writing to one who fully appreciates the situation.
Sincerely hoping you may never weary in your good work.

Yours respectfully, F. ELLEN BURR.
SUSAN B. ANTHONY.


ALBANY, _April 9, 1866_.

MY DEAR MISS ANTHONY:--It will be out of my power to speak at your
Convention--my health will not permit my attendance--but I cordially
concur in your efforts to restore to woman her civil and political
rights, and for her emancipation from slavery, her actual, undeniable
status at present in the Government. I can suggest no plan to effect
this great object, except that of agitation and discussion, everywhere
throughout the land. Whenever the public mind shall become
sufficiently enlightened, and women themselves shall seriously and
earnestly demand, on their own behalf, equal rights and equal laws,
they will be accorded; and then we shall have, what the world has
never yet had or seen, a true republican system of government. Excuse
these hasty thoughts.

Truly yours, A. J. COLVIN.


_To the President and Members of the Eleventh National Woman's Rights
Convention in New York assembled_:

LADIES:--I notice with pleasure the call for your annual convention
The hour is pregnant with events, and this period is opportune for
opening and pressing upon the public attention the questions with
which you are occupied. As the claims of the slave in past years have
furnished to so many espousing them the occasion of manifold and large
emancipations little thought by them at first, so the claims of the
emerging freedman will lay open the way to the study and solution of
the gravest and widest social questions. The great problems of social
order: government, its fit aims and happiest methods, the nature and
just basis of suffrage, etc., are to be studied anew and brought to
true adjustment; false barriers and artificial distinctions must be
swept away, no child of Adam must be inhibited from wielding those
prerogatives which by birthright or attainment he may be entitled to.
The more obvious abuses, the flagrantly gratuitous distinctions,
involving very gross inequalities and oppressions, will be the first
to be exposed and abolished.

The natural and just basis of the right of suffrage is doubtless
qualification, wisdom, and substantial honesty. The right to wield the
ballot is not in the strict sense an inborn and original right, coeval
with our being, except as any right to which we may by culture attain
is of this character. It is ours potentially. It belongs to attainment
and possession, as the right, for instance, in a particular case to
survey land, or instruct minds. It is a right I am to rise to through
intelligence, discipline, manhood. It is conditioned upon discernment
and true faithfulness. Those too ignorant or uncaring to distinguish
between rule and misrule, government and lawlessness, science and a
juggle, supernal and infernal--those especially so profligate, who
seek only to reach through government the sanction of law, the baptism
of social order for their wickedness and misdeeds, have no business at
any ballot-box, save that of recorded resolution to amend and repent.
To put the ballot into the hands of the reckless, the besotted, and
the profligate, is the sheerest abuse possible, and suicidal to all
just protection and rule.

It may be a long day ere suffrage shall be adjusted carefully and
strictly to the normal basis. But before this the Gospel must be
preached to all nations, the rough places must be made smooth and the
paths straight for the coming of the Most High. Whatever unjust
barriers or factitious discrimination there may be against any must be
abolished, and equality must be for all. Wisdom or virtue is not the
monopoly of any class or sex or race. By all the proprieties of
nature, woman should have with man a voice in the enactment of laws
and the administration of government. She is the complement of man,
essential for the due poise, the right wisdom, and conduct in family,
in neighborhood, in Church or in State. Sharing in civil government,
she will be a redemptive agency for society in many ways little
thought at present. And agitation and overturning shall not cease
until the final realization is reached. Society shall yet be rewrought
and born again. All rule shall be justice, and obedience liberty.
Government shall be the reflection of the infinite kingdom, the
incarnation of truth, wisdom, benignity, power, the protector and help
of all, inviting and assisting each to full realization of the utmost
possibilities of attainment and strength for the individual soul,
building to perfect freedom, building also to perfect unity. Service,
sacrament, supreme reverence--this shall be the motto and norm of the
world, all society become a church and all life worship, the broad
anthem of souls. For this high consummation let us look and labor,
trusting and working on to the perfect end.

Yours sincerely, CHAS. D. B. MILLS.


DWIGHT, ILL., _April 30, 1866_.

MY DEAR MISS ANTHONY:--Your kind letter inviting me to attend the
Convention on the 10th of May, was duly received. I should be
extremely happy to be with you in your deliberations, but so much of
my time has of late been occupied in the work of the American Union
Commission, that I can hardly spare a moment for even your good work.
I, however, feel only selfish regrets, for I should be but a listener
and partaker of the rich mental feasts that will there be freely
offered to all who will partake. The great arguments have all been
made by our opponents, and they concede all that we ask, save that
they substitute expediency for principle. They have yet to learn that
God will not be dethroned; that when He decrees a human soul, He
surrounds it with all the dignity of free will and consequent
responsibility. He therefore endows the soul with rights, the exercise
and protection of which are the crown of humanity. We ask no new code
of rights. We simply ask to be included in the general method of
asserting and protecting them, which even the shadowy-browed children
of bondage are now perceived to claim without presumption. It has been
with no small degree of interest that I have seen that our wisest
statesmen begin to so far see and feel the importance of the issue
that lies inevitably in their path, that they stop to explain and
apologize; but they dare not deny, lest the logic they use should be
turned against themselves.

The great Christian doctrine of the equality of all before God, who is
declared to be no respecter of persons, is the axe laid at the root of
the tree of prejudice, which has for such long ages brought forth
injustice and oppression in a multitude of forms. Our good and great
men are reading with anointed eyes the declaration, "There is neither
Jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free," and we may hope they will soon
read the final assertion, "Neither male nor female, for ye are all one
in Christ Jesus." In this full and broad assertion lies the completion
of the great Christian scheme, not limited to any number of parts, but
embracing the great whole, thus recognizing the fatherhood of God and
the brotherhood of man. What our cause now needs is the Christian
advocacy of good and wise men and women. Legally, our position is
conceded, so far as the logical sequences are concerned; but the
pulpit, on which woman is prone to lean for all her opinions on
questions of morality, has, with a few rare exceptions, been silent.
Henry Ward Beecher has dared to speak out in a manly, Christian way;
but even he has not laid upon the women of the Church that burden of
responsibility concerning government that they ought to be made to
feel.



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