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Those were one
as respects the rights of colored persons; the other as respects
the rights of married women, minors, and females; and I there and
then determined that whenever and wherever it should be in my
power to aid in relieving them of those inequalities and those
injustices, I would do so to the extent of my humble ability.
Since then I have labored zealously in those two reforms as far
and as fast as a public opinion could be created or elicited to
enforce them, and I can say from my own observation that each
step of advance taken has been fruitful of all good and
productive of no evil. Emancipation of the colored race in
Missouri has been achieved in a most thorough manner,
substantially achieved even before the war; and to-day the
community is ripe for the declaration that all are created equal,
and that there is no reason to exclude from any right, civil or
political, on the ground of race or color. I feel proud to say
likewise that Missouri has gone further, and wiped from her
statute-book large portions of that unjust and unfair and
illiberal legislation which had been leveled at the rights and
the property of the women of the State. Believing that that cause
which embraces and embodies the cause of civil liberty will go
forward still triumphing and to triumph, I will never, so help me
God, cast any vote that may be construed as throwing myself in
the face of that progress. Even though I recognize, therefore,
the impolicy of coupling these two measures in this manner and at
this time, I shall yet record my vote in the affirmative as an
earnest indication of my belief in the principle and my faith in
the future.

Mr. DAVIS: Mr. President, our entire population, like that of all
other countries, is divided into two great classes, the male and
the female. By the census of 1860 the white female population of
the United States exceeded thirteen millions, and the aggregate
negro population, of both sexes, was below four and a half
millions. That great white population, and all its female
predecessors, have never had the right of suffrage, or, to use
that cant phrase of the day, have never been enfranchised; and
such has also been the condition of the negro population. That
about one negro in ten thousand in four or five States have been
allowed to vote, is too insignificant to be dignified with any
consideration as an exception. But now a frenzied party is
clamoring to have suffrage given to the negro, while they not
only raise no voice for female suffrage, but frown upon and repel
every movement and utterance in its favor. Who of the advocates
of negro suffrage, in Congress or out of it, dare to stand forth
and proclaim to the manhood of America, that the free negroes are
fitter and more competent to exercise transcendent political
power, the right of suffrage, than their mothers, their wives,
their sisters, and their daughters? The great God who created all
the races and in every race gave to man woman, never intended
that woman should take part in national government among any
people, or that the negro, the lowest, should ever have
co-ordinate and equal power with the highest, the white race, in
any government, national or domestic. To woman in every race He
gave correlative, and as high, as necessary, and as essential,
but different faculties and attributes, intellectual and moral,
as He gave to man in the same race; and to both, those adapted to
the equally important but different parts which they were to play
in the dramatic destinies of their people. The instincts, the
teachings of the distinct and differing, but harmonious organism
of each, led man and woman in every race and people and nation
and tribe, savage and civilized, in all countries and ages of the
world, to choose their natural, appropriate, and peculiar field
of labor and effort. Man assumed the direction of government and
war, woman of the domestic and family affairs and the care and
the training of the child; and each have always acquiesced in
this partition and choice. It has been so from the beginning,
throughout the whole history of man, and it will continue to be
so to the end, because it is in conformity to nature and its
laws, and is sustained and confirmed by the experience and reason
of six thousand years.

I therefore, Mr. President, am decidedly and earnestly opposed to
the amendment moved by my friend from Pennsylvania. There is no
man more deeply impressed with or more highly appreciates the
important offices which woman exercises over the destiny of race
than I do. I concede that woman, by her teachings and influence,
is the source of the large mass of the morality and virtue of man
and of the world. The benignant and humanizing and important
influence which she exercises upon the whole race of man in the
proper discharge of her functions and duties can not be
overestimated; but that woman should properly perform these great
duties, this inappreciably valuable task, it is necessary that
she should be kept pure. The domestic altar is a sacred fane
where woman is the high and officiating priestess. This priestess
should be virtuous, she should be intelligent, she should be
competent to the performance of all her high duties. To keep her
in that condition of purity, it is necessary that she should be
separated from the exercise of suffrage and from all those stern
and contaminating and demoralizing duties that devolves upon the
hardier sex--man.

What is the proposition now before the Senate? To make pure,
cultivated, noble woman a partisan, a political hack, to lead her
among the rabble that surround and control by blackguardism and
brute force so many of the hustings of the United States. Mr.
President, if one greater evil or curse could befall the American
people than any other, in my judgment it would be to confer upon
the women of America the right of suffrage. It would be a great
step in the line of mischief and evil, and it would lead to other
and equally fatal steps--in the same direction. Sir, if ever in
the depths and silence of night I send up my secret orisons to my
Maker, one of the most fervent of my prayers would be that the
women of my country should be saved and sheltered by man from
this great contamination. It is not necessary to the proper
influence and to the legitimate power of woman. A cultivated,
enlightened, delicate, refined, and virtuous woman at the family
altar is the persuasive and at the same time plastic power that
sways and fashions the principles and character of her children,
and thus makes her impress upon the future men of America, the
Phocians, the Timoleons, the Washingtons, who are the honor of
the race, and whose destiny it is to elevate and ennoble it. Mr.
President, in proportion as man becomes civilized so increases
the power and the influence of woman. In the tribes and nations
of the lowest ignorance and barbarism this influence is least--it
is most potent where there is the greatest intellectual and moral
cultivation of man. I want this gentle and holy influence to
continue pure and uncontaminated by keeping it within the
domestic fane and afar from party politics. But, sir, it has
become the fashion, the philosophy, the frenzy of the day to coin
catch-words that carry a seemingly attractive principle, but at
the same time alluring and mischievous, and among them is this
cry for woman's rights and also for negro suffrage and manhood
suffrage and universal suffrage. It is all nothing but slang and
demagoguery, and is fraught with naught but evil, mischief, and
degradation, individually and nationally. For these reasons, sir,
one of the last propositions, or if gentlemen choose, principles
which have been or may be propounded to the people of America, or
as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, to
which I shall ever give my acceptance, is female suffrage.

I do not deny that our national family properly and wisely
comprehends all of the nationalities of Europe who may come here,
according to the terms of our naturalization laws, and their
posterity; but I assert that negroes, Indians, Mongolians,
Chinese, and Tartars ought not and can not safely be admitted to
the powers and privileges of citizenship.

I have no doubt that my honorable friend from Pennsylvania
desires that the right of suffrage should be given to women; and
if he had the power to transfer all the women of the conservative
States into and to become residents of the radical States, who
imagines that if that were done the Radicals of this House and of
the nation would shout in favor of giving to women the right of
suffrage? If the Radicals in Congress and out of Congress knew
with the certainty of truth that every vote which they will
enfranchise by conferring the right of suffrage on the negro,
would be cast against that party, in favor of their late southern
masters, in favor of the Democracy, in hostility to the schemes
of ambition and spoils which are now animating the heart and mind
of the great radical organization, who doubts that this party and
every mother's son of them would shout for withholding suffrage
from the negro?

Mr. SPRAGUE: I know the Senate is impatient for a vote. I know
they are determined to vote favorably. When it is necessary that
women shall vote for the support of liberty and equality I shall
be ready to cast my vote in their favor.



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