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
While I was at the bar I was more conversant with the
manner in which these domestic affairs were transacted than I am
now; and I knew instances of the greatest hardship arising from
the fact that the law permitted such things to be done. I have
known a drunken, miserable wretch of a husband take possession of
a large property of a virtuous, excellent woman, who had a family
of small children depending upon her, and turn her out to support
her family by sewing and by manual labor; and it is not an
uncommon case. The legislators, the males having the law-making
power in their hands, especially were not very prompt to correct
these evils; they were very slow in doing so. They continued from
the old common law, when the memory of man did not run to the
contrary, down to a time that is within the recollection of us
all; and I do not know but that in some of the States this absurd
rule prevails even now. It would not have prevailed if ladies had
been permitted to vote for their legislators. They would have
instructed them, and would have withheld their votes from every
one who would not correct these most glaring evils.

The Senator tells us that the community in which he lives is so
barbarous and rude that a lady could not go to the polls to
perform a duty which the law permitted without insult and
rudeness. That is a state of things that I did not believe
existed anywhere. I do not believe that it exists in Baltimore
to-day. I do not believe if the ladies of Baltimore should go up
to the polls clothed with the legal right to select their own
legislators that there is anybody in Baltimore who would insult
them on their way in performing that duty. I do not believe that
our communities have got to that degree of depravity yet that
such kind of rascally prudence is necessary to be exercised in
making laws. On the other hand, I have always found wherever I
have gone that the rude and the rough in their conduct were
civilized and ameliorated by the presence of females; for I do
believe, as much as I believe anything else, that, take the world
as it is, the female part of it are really more virtuous than the
males. I think so; and I think if we were to permit them to have
this right, it would tend to a universal reform instead of the
reverse; and I do not believe any lady would be insulted in any
community that I know anything about while on her way to perform
this duty.

As I can see no good reason to the contrary, I shall vote for
this proposition. I shall vote as I have often voted, as the
Senator from Massachusetts has often voted, what he believed to
be right; not because he believed a majority were with him, but
because he believed the proposition which he was called upon to
vote for was right, just, and proper. It is because I can not see
that this is not so that I vote for it. It comes from a Senator
who does not generally vote with us; it is a proposition unlooked
for from his general course of action in this body, being, as he
says, on the conservative list, and generally for holding things
just as they are. Well, sir, I am for holding them just as they
are, when I think they are right, and when I think they are not,
I am for changing them and making them right. I do not think it
is right to exclude females from the right of suffrage. As I said
before, I do not expect that public opinion will be so correct at
this time that my vote will be effective; but nevertheless it
would be no excuse for me that I did not do my part toward
effecting a reform that I think the community requires, because I
did not see that the whole world was going with me. I do not wait
for that. I am frequently in minorities. I would as lief be there
as anywhere else, provided I see that I am right; and I do not
wait for the majority to go with me when I think a proposition is
right. Therefore I shall vote for this amendment if nobody else
votes for it, trusting that if I am right the world will finally
see it and come up to the mark where I am; if I am wrong, on
further investigation and further thought I shall be left in the
lurch. Believing that I am right, and believing that the world
will come up to this standard finally, I am ambitious to make my
mark upon it right here.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN: Mr. President, the Senator from Maryland has
made an inquiry as to the law of New Jersey in reference to women
voting. There was a period in New Jersey when, in reference to
some local matters, and those only, women voted; but that period
has long since passed away; and I think I am authorized in saying
that the women of New Jersey to-day do not desire to vote. Sir, I
confess a little surprise at the remark which has been so
frequently made in the Senate, that there is no difference
between granting suffrage to colored citizens and extending it to
the women of America. The difference, to my mind, is as wide as
the earth. As I understand it, we legislate for classes, and the
women of America as a class do vote now, though there are
exceptions from the peculiar circumstances of individuals. Do not
the American people vote in this Senate to-day on this question?
Do they not vote in the House of Representatives? So the women of
America vote by their faithful and true representatives, their
husbands, their brothers, their sons; and no true man will go to
the polls and deposit his ballot without remembering that true
and loving constituency that he has at home. More than that, sir,
ninety-nine out of a hundred, I believe nine hundred and
ninety-nine out of a thousand, of the women in America do not
want the privilege of voting in any other manner than that which
I have stated. In both these regards there is a vast difference
between the situation of the colored citizen and the women of
America.

But Mr. President, besides that, the women of America are not
called upon to serve the Government as the men of America are.
They do not bear the bayonet, and have not that reason why they
should be entitled to the ballot; and it seems to me as if the
God of our race has stamped upon them a milder, gentler nature,
which not only makes them shrink from, but disqualifies them for
the turmoil and battle of public life. They have a higher and a
holier mission. It is in retirement, to make the character of the
coming men. Their mission is at home, by their blandishments and
their love to assuage the passions of men as they come in from
the battle of life, and not themselves by joining in the contest
to add fuel to the very flames. The learned and eloquent Senator
from Pennsylvania said, yesterday, with great beauty, that he
wanted to cast the angel element into the suffrage system of
America. Sir, it seems to me that it would be ruthlessly tearing
the angel element from the homes of America, for the homes of the
people of America are infinitely more valuable than any suffrage
system. It will be a sorry day for this country when those vestal
fires of piety and love are put out. Mr. President, it seems to
me that the Christian religion, which has elevated woman to her
true position as a peer by the side of man from which she was
taken; that religion which is a part of the common law of this
land, in its very spirit and declarations recognizes man as the
representative of woman. The very structure of that religion
which for centuries has been being built recognizes that
principle, and it is written on its very door-posts. The woman,
it is true, was first tempted; but it was in Adam that we all
died. The angel, it is true, appeared to Mary; but it is in the
God-man that we are all made alive. I do not see that there is
any parity of reasoning between the case of the women of America,
entitling them or making it desirable that they should have
suffrage, and that of the colored citizens of the United States.

Mr. CONNESS: It does not appear that we can come to a vote
to-night upon this proposition, and I therefore rise to propose
an adjournment.

Mr. MORRILL: Perhaps we can get a vote on this simple amendment.

Mr. BROWN and others: Oh, no; let us adjourn.

Mr. MORRILL: I doubt whether there is any inclination to talk
further on this amendment, and I should be glad to get a vote on
it before we adjourn.

Mr. CONNESS: If the Senate will come to a vote, I will not move
an adjournment.

Mr. BROWN: Mr. President----

Mr. DOOLITTLE: If the honorable Senator from Missouri will give
way, I will renew the motion to adjourn.

Mr. BROWN: I do not care particularly to detain the Senate. I
have but a very few remarks to make.

Several SENATORS: Let us adjourn.

Mr. DOOLITTLE: If the honorable Senator will give way, I will
renew the motion to adjourn.

The PRESIDENT _pro tem._: Does the Chair understand the Senator
from Missouri as yielding the floor?

Mr. BROWN: Yes, sir.

Mr. DOOLITTLE: I move that the Senate do now adjourn.

The motion was agreed to; and the Senate adjourned.


In SENATE, WEDNESDAY, _December 12, 1866_.

Prayer by the Chaplain, Rev. E. H. Gray.

The Journal of yesterday was read and approved.


PETITIONS AND MEMORIALS.

The PRESIDENT _pro tem._: The Chair has received, and takes this
opportunity to lay before the Senate, the memorial of William
Boyd, of Washington City, District of Columbia, the substance of
which, stated in his own words, is:

I humbly ask your Honorable Body that you make no
distinctions in regard to either color or sex if you should
think proper to extend the elective franchise in this
District, which I beg of your Honorable Body to do
immediately; so that hereafter there shall be no distinction
of race or sex.



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.