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Would that policy in any way conduce to their peace,
their purity, and their happiness? Sir, it has been said that
"the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world"; and there is
truth as well as beauty in that expression. Women in this
country, by their elevated social position, can exercise more
influence upon public affairs than they could coerce by the use
of the ballot. When God married our first parents in the garden,
according to that ordinance they were made "bone of one bone and
flesh of one flesh"; and the whole theory of government and
society proceeds upon the assumption that their interests are
one, that their relations are so intimate and tender that
whatever is for the benefit of the one is for the benefit of the
other; whatever works to the injury of the one works to the
injury of the other. I say, sir, that the more identical and
inseparable these interests and relations can be made, the better
for all concerned; and the woman who undertakes to put her sex in
an antagonistic position to man, who undertakes by the use of
some independent political power to contend and fight against
man, displays a spirit which would, if able, convert all the now
harmonious elements of society into a state of war, and make
every home a hell upon earth. Women do not bear their proportion
and share, they can not bear their proportion and share of the
public burdens. Men represent them in the Army and in the Navy;
men represent them at the polls and in the affairs of the
Government; and though it be true that individual women do own
property that is taxed, yet nine-tenths of the property and the
business from which the revenues of the Government are derived
are in the hands and belong to and are controlled by the men.
Sir, when the women of this country come to be sailors and
soldiers; when they come to navigate the ocean and to follow the
plow; when they love to be jostled and crowded by all sorts of
men in the thoroughfares of trade and business; when they love
the treachery and the turmoil of politics; when they love the
dissoluteness of the camp and the smoke and the thunder and the
blood of battle better than they love the enjoyments of home and
family, then it will be time to talk about making the women
voters; but until that time the question is not fairly before the
country.

Mr. COWAN: Mr. President, I had not intended to say anything on
this subject beyond what I offered to the Senate yesterday
evening, and I should not do so if it were not for the suggestion
of a friend, and I am glad to say a friend who believes as I do,
that it is the general supposition that I am not serious and not
in earnest in the amendment which I have moved; and I only rise
now for the purpose of disabusing the minds of Senators and
others from any impression they may have had of that sort.

I am perfectly free to admit that I have always been opposed to
change. I do not know why it is. Whether I have felt myself old
or not, I have not ranged myself in the category of "old fogies"
as yet. Although I feel an indisposition to exchange the "ills we
suffer" for "those we know not of," and am not desirous to launch
myself away from that which is ascertained and certain, and
adventure myself upon a sea of experiment, at the same time I
feel as much of that strength, that elasticity, that vigor, and
that desire for the advancement of my race, my countrymen, and my
kind as anybody can feel. I yield to no one in that respect. All
I have asked, and all I have desired heretofore, is that we go
surely. I believe with my fathers and my ancestors that to base
suffrage upon the white males of twenty-one years of age and
upward was a great stride in the world's affairs; that it would
be well for the world if its government could progress, could
advance upon that basis, and that all the rest of the world who
did not happen to be white males of the age of twenty-one years
and upward could very well afford to stand back and witness the
effect of our experiment. I was of that opinion, I lived in the
light of it, and I rejoiced in its success; and when I saw this
Rebellion, when I witnessed the differences of opinion which
convulsed this part of the Continent; when I saw the fact that
one-half of the United States was upon the one side and the other
half upon the other side as to the understanding of the true
theory of this Government of ours, simple as it may be to the
lawyer, complex as it may be when examined more thoroughly, I was
more than ever disinclined to widen the suffrage, to intrust the
franchise to a larger number of people. I trembled for the
success of the experiment; I hesitated as to where it would end.
I may say, Mr. President, that I hesitate yet. The question is by
no means settled, the difficulty is by no means ended, the
controversy is by no means yet concluded.

But the first step taken, from the very initiative of that step,
I have announced my ground and my determination. When a bill was
up here before, proposing to enlarge and widen the franchise in
this District, I stated that if negroes were to vote I would
persist in opening the door to females. I said that if the thing
were to be taken away from the feudal realms and from feudal
reasons, which went on the idea that the man who bore arms, and
he alone, was entitled to the exercise of political power, and if
it was to be put upon the ground of logic, and if we were to be
asked to give a reason for it, and if we were to be compelled to
give that reason, I said then, and I say now, "If I have no
reason to offer why a negro man shall not vote, I have no reason
to offer why a white woman shall not vote." If the negro man is
interested in the Government of the country, if he can not trust
to the masses of the people that the Government shall be a fair
and just Government and that it shall do right to him, then the
woman is also interested that this Government shall be fair to
woman and fair to the interests of woman. Why not, Mr. President?
Are not these interests equal to those of the negro and of his
race? I know it has been said that the woman is represented by
her husband, represented by the male; and yet we know how she has
been represented by her husband in bygone times; we know how she
is represented by her barbarian husband; and let him who wants to
know how she is represented by her civilized husband go to her
speeches made in the recent Woman's Rights Convention. We know
how she has been represented by her barbarian husband in the past
and is even at the present. She bears his burdens, she bears his
children, she nurses them, she does his work, she chops his wood,
and she grinds his corn; while he, forsooth, by virtue of this
patent of nobility that he has derived, in consequence of his
masculinity, from Heaven, confines himself to the manly
occupations of hunting and fishing and war.

I should like to hear my honorable friend from Maine [Mr.
Morrill], so apt, so pertinent, so eloquent on all questions,
discourse upon the title which the male derives in consequence of
the fact that he has been a fisher and a hunter and a warrior all
the time; and then I should like to know how he would
discriminate between that fisher and hunter and warrior, and
those Amazons who burnt their right breasts in order that they
might the more readily draw the bow and against whose onset no
troops of that day were able to stand. I should also like to know
from him how it was that the female veterans of the army of
Dahomey recently, within the last three or four years, in the
face of an escarpment that would have made European veterans,
aye, and I might say American veterans tremble, scrambled over
that escarpment and carried the city sword in hand.

Now, Mr. President, it is time that we look at these things; and
that we look them full in the face. I am always glad and willing
to stand upon institutions that have been established in the
past; that have been sanctified by time; that have given to men
liberty and protection with which they were satisfied. But, sir,
when the time comes that we are to make a step forward, then
another and different question arises. I am utterly astonished at
my honorable friend from Rhode Island who doubted my sincerity in
this movement. Why should I not be sincere? Have I not as many
interests at stake as he has?

My honorable friend from Oregon [Mr. Williams] thinks this is
entirely preposterous. I have no doubt he does, and I give him
all credit for honesty and sincerity in the remarks that he has
made; but the trouble with him is, and with a great many
others--perhaps it is with myself upon some subjects--is that he
directs his gaze too long upon a particular point. It is
remarkable that when a man who looks long and steadily upon one
subject to the exclusion of every other, that subject at last
becomes to him the universe itself. I have met
fellow-politicians fellow-Senators, and fellow-coworkers in the
great battle of life, who really had so long contemplated one
subject that it was not within their capacity to see any others.

But it unfortunately happens that in this world there are others
besides the negro who suffer. When you have told of the injuries
and outrages which prevail on the earth in regard to the negro
you have not finished. Another, and in my judgment a much more
important personage, comes upon the scene; she lifts the curtain
and reveals to you a new drama, and she tells you distinctly that
you have not only been tyrannizing over your brother, your sable
brother, your brother at the other end of the national antipodes,
your troublesome antipathic brother; you have not only been
drenching the earth from the East to the far West with the blood
of savages of a different color from yours; you have not only
left your blood-stained marks in Japan, in China, in the East
Indies, everywhere, and in the West, where one of your Christian
bishops boasted that six million Mexicans at one time had been
sacrificed, and what for?



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