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True, her privileges in some States have been, after long
struggle and conflict, enlarged and increased. Like the Southern
freedmen, she has had her Civil Rights bill. But all this is
compatible with the Dred Scott decision itself. The power that gives
can take away; but of that power woman is no part. Mr. Sumner says,
"The ballot is the one thing needful to the emancipated slave."
Without it, he declares, his liberty is but an illusion, a
jack-o'lantern which he will pursue in vain. Without the ballot, he
reiterates, the slave becomes only sacrifice. And shall it not also be
pre-eminently so with woman? Formed by Almighty power a little lower
than the angels, her ruling lords and masters have, by legislative
proscription, plunged her not a little but immeasurably below myriads
of the human race, whose only boast or claim is, that for some
inscrutable reason they were so constituted as to stand _men_ in the
tables of the census.

In the American Equal Rights Association, it is determined to
prosecute an agitation which shall wake the nation to new
consciousness of the injustice long inflicted and still suffered
through proscriptive distinctions on account of sex and complexion. To
the industrial, hard-toiling, property-producing, family-supporting
women, this appeal is made to come to the rescue of their own
long-lost rights. In New York the angel of a Constitutional Convention
is soon to stir the waters. Let all who need healing hasten to the
baptism. Nor is it one of the least cheering signs that multitudes of
the intelligent women of the country are fast waking to a full
consciousness of the wrongs they suffer. Even the war has taught
invaluable lessons on the dignity and worth of woman in a thousand new
spheres. Our Florence Nightingales have not been one, but many, yea
thousands. Woman as well as the freedman saved the nation in its hour
of peril, and invested herself with new dignity demanding new
distinction. Now emphatically is her hour. But no comparison need be
instituted, none surely should be urged, as to whose is the paramount
claim. The great clock of humanity has struck the hour, and its tones
are ringing across the continents, reverberating as well among the
Alps as the Alleghanies, and mingling sweet music in both the
hemispheres. We are coming to the rescue of justice and right, girded
with the panoply of a divine and holy cause, and Omnipotence is
pledged in our behalf. We propose to organize Equal Rights clubs or
committees in every city, town, and village; to hold meetings for
discussions and lectures; to circulate tracts and petitions, and to
raise funds to enable the Association to carry forward its work for
educating the popular sentiment. We shall endeavor to enlist the
pulpit and the press. Truth, justice, reason, humanity, must and will
triumph. Already a host is on our side, and our principles can never
be defeated. The prospect before us is full of encouragement, and we
confidently submit our enterprise to the heart and hand of a waiting
and expectant people.


LETTERS TO THE MAY ANNIVERSARY OF 1867.

LAWRENCE, KANSAS, _May 6, 1867_.

MY DEAR MISS ANTHONY:--I hope your Convention will not fail to set in
its true light the position of those editors in New York who are
branding as the "infamous thirteen" the men who, in the New Jersey
Legislature, voted against negro suffrage, while they themselves give
the whole weight of their journals against woman's right to vote. They
use the terms "universal and impartial suffrage," when they mean only
negro suffrage; and they do it to hide a dark skin and an unpopular
client. They know that a "lie will keep its throne a whole age longer
if it skulks behind the shadow of some fair seeming name." In New
Jersey a negro father is legally entitled to his children, but no
mother in New Jersey, black or white, has any legal right to her
children. In New Jersey a widow may live forty days in the house of
her deceased husband without paying rent, but the negro widower, just
like the white widower, may remain in undisturbed possession of house
and property. A negro man can sell his real estate and make a valid
deed, but no wife in that State can do so without her husband's
consent. A negro man in New Jersey may will all his property as he
pleases, but no wife in the State can will her personal property at
all, and if she will her real estate with her husband's consent, he
may revoke that consent any time before the will is admitted to
probate, and thus render her will null and void. The women of New
Jersey went to the Legislature last winter on their own petition, for
the right of suffrage. Twenty-three members voted for them, thirty-two
voted against them. But the editors who now find unmeasured words to
express their contempt for the "infamous thirteen" who voted against
the negro, were as dumb as death when this vote was cast against
woman. The Washington correspondent of the New York _Tribune_ says
that Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens give it as their opinion that
New Jersey will not have a republican form of government until they
put the word "white" out of their Constitution. Do these gentlemen
mean to say that when New Jersey has given her 8,000 negro men the
vote she will have a republican form of government, while 134,000
women of that State are still without it? and not only without it, but
blasted by laws which are a disgrace to the civilization of the age;
and of these laws not one afflicts or affects the negro man. The
rebels who starved our brave boys in Andersonville, and made ornaments
of their bones, these men, traitors, guilty of the highest crime known
to our laws, are to be punished by having their right to vote taken
away. Of what crime are American women guilty that they are to be
compelled to stand on a political platform with such men as these? Let
no man dream that national prosperity and peace can be secured by
merely giving suffrage to colored men, while that sacred right is
denied to millions of American women. That scanty shred of justice,
good as far it goes, is utterly inadequate to meet the emergency of
this hour. Men of every race and color may vote, but if the women are
excluded our legislation will still lack that moral tone, for want of
which the nation is to-day drifting toward ruin. There is no other
name given by which the country can be saved but that of woman.
"Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the
governed." Women are governed, negroes are governed, and should give
their consent. Will men never learn that a principle which God has
made true He has also made it safe to apply? Aye, more, that a
principle He has made true, it is not safe not to apply? The problem
for the American statesmen to-day is no narrow question of races, but
how to embody in our institutions a guarantee for the rights of every
citizen. The solution is easy. Base government on the consent of the
governed, and each class will protect itself. Put this one great
principle of universal suffrage, irrespective of sex or color, into
the foundation of our temple of liberty, and it will rise in fair and
beautiful proportions, "without the sound of a hammer or the noise of
any instrument," to stand at last "perfect and entire, wanting
nothing." Omit it, and only "He who sees the end from the beginning"
knows through what other national woes we must be driven, before we
learn that the path of justice is the only path of peace and safety.

LUCY STONE.


BOSTON, _May 5, 1867_.

_To the American Equal Rights Association_:

Although not permitted to be present with you, yet, in spirit, I join
you in all your efforts to secure justice and equality to all the
children of God. I have so long felt deeply upon the subjects before
you, that I wish to add my word to the voices of those who are more
fortunate in being present. Since I was old enough to think upon
important subjects, I have constantly felt the pressure of injustice
that has borne so heavily upon my sex. At sixteen I earnestly desired
to enter some college, that I might have the benefit of those helps to
learning which were open to all boys, and I deeply felt the cruelty
and injustice that closed the doors of the universities to me, who was
longing and thirsting for knowledge, while they were invitingly open
to the youth of the other sex, who often only used them to waste their
time and give them the name of educated men. I could see no reason for
this exclusion, nor could I imagine how it would harm any one to allow
girls who desired to learn the privilege of going to the universities.

My next personal experience of the injustice done to women by the laws
was, when a widow, I buried one of my little daughters, and found that
I, who had borne her and nursed her and provided for all her wants,
was not her heir, but her little sister, who had done nothing for her,
and was still dependent on me for care, etc. This I felt very keenly,
not on account of the property involved, for it was but little, but on
account of the great injustice done to my maternal heart. My next
personal lesson in the law's iniquity was, when about to marry the
second time, both myself and husband desired to secure to me the
property I possessed. I employed a great lawyer in Maine, Gov.
Fessenden, the father of one of our senators, to make an instrument
that would secure that end. After thinking on the subject a week, and
doing the best he could, he handed me the paper, saying, "I have done
my best; but I can not assure you that this instrument will secure to
you your property if your husband should ever become insolvent!" This
surely astonished me. The law not only did not protect women in their
property rights, but did so much to prevent their getting or keeping
them, that an able lawyer could not frame an instrument that would
secure them even when signed by their intended husbands before
marriage! This was more than thirty years ago, and some improvements
have since been made in the laws in reference to women.

The next great wrong that pressed heavily upon me was when I again
became a widow.



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