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Desirous to establish a
reputation for discretion, we have refrained from complicating the
perplexities of any Senator; but now that a constitutional amendment
is pending we must be careful, even if we gain no franchise, to lose
no _opportunity_.

Hitherto the Constitution of the United States has contained no word
that would shut women out from future suffrage. Mr. Schenck, of Ohio,
and Mr. Jenckes, of Rhode Island, propose to limit a right to "male
citizens" which should rest, as it now does, simply on "legal voters."
This would oblige women to move to amend the Constitution of the
United States after each separate State was carried. We have no
inclination for this unnecessary work, and here, in Boston, we are
preparing a petition basing the necessity of our present interference
on this fact alone. How much women desire the suffrage, Mr. Editor,
you ought to perceive from the conduct of the women of Australia.
Carelessly enough, her male legislators omitted the significant
adjective from their constitutional amendment, and, without a word of
warning, on election day, every woman, properly qualified, was found
at the polls. There was no just reason for refusing them the
privilege, and _The London Times_ says the precedent is to stand.

A very absurd article in _The Evening Post_ has lately given us an
idea that New York contains some remarkable women. Women born to be
looked at!--women who do their whole duty if they blossom like the
roses, and like the roses die. Let us hope they fulfill the functions
of this type by as short a sojourn on this earth as may be, lingering,
as Malherbe would have it, only for "the space of a morning." It may
be among them that you find the women who "look persistently to
married life as a means of livelihood." Here, in Massachusetts, we do
not acknowledge any such. Fashion has her danglers among men and
women, but we pity those whose lot has thrown them into intimate
relations with such women as you describe. They are not of our sort.
We think that if the writer in _The Evening Post_ were tested, he
would be forced to admire most the hands which could do the best work.
It would be small comfort to him, when Bridget and John had
simultaneously departed, when the baby was crying and the fire out,
that his wife sat lonely, in one corner of the apartment, with serene
eyes and unstained hands. Men who talk such nonsense in America, must
remember that neither wealth nor gentle blood can _here_ protect them
from such a dilemma. As to suffrage, we are not now talking of
granting it to a distinct race; if we were, they might manifest a
"general" desire for it. Women, who love their husbands and brothers,
can not _all_ submit to bear the reproach which clings to their demand
for justice. A few of us must suffer sharply for the sake of that
great future which God shows us to be possible, when goodness shall
join hands with power. But we do not like our pain. We would gladly be
sheltered, and comforted, and cheered, and we warn you, by what passes
in our own hearts, that women will never express a "general" desire
for suffrage until men have ceased to ridicule and despise them for
it; until the representatives of men have been taught to treat their
petitions with respect. There would be no difficulty in obtaining this
right of suffrage If it depended on a property qualification. It is
consistent democracy which bars our way.

CAROLINE HEALEY DALL.

[55] _Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled_: That, from and after
the passage of this act, each and every male person, excepting paupers
and persons under guardianship, of the age of twenty-one years and
upward, who has not been convicted of any infamous crime or offence,
and who is a citizen of the United States, and who shall have resided
in the said District for the period of six months previous to any
election therein, shall be entitled to the elective franchise, and
shall be deemed an elector and entitled to vote at any election in
said District, without any distinction on account of color or race.

[56] _The New York Tribune_, Dec. 12, 1866, contains the following
editorial comments: The Senate devoted yesterday to a discussion of
the right of women to vote--a side question, which Mr. Cowan, of
Pennsylvania, interjected into the debate on suffrage for the District
of Columbia. Mr. Cowan chooses to represent himself as an ardent
champion of the claim of woman to the elective franchise. It is not
necessary to question his sincerity, but the occasion which he selects
for the exhibition of his new-born zeal, subjects him to the suspicion
of being considerably more anxious to embarrass the bill for
enfranchising the blacks, than to amend it by conferring upon women
the enjoyment of the same right. Mr. Cowan was once a Republican. He
abandoned his party, has been repudiated by his State, and may well be
casting about for some new issue by which to divert attention from his
faithlessness on the old. We have heard that Mr. Cowan affects the
classics; we are sure, therefore, that he will thank us for reminding
him of that familiar story out of Plutarch respecting Alcibiades. When
the dissolute Athenian had cut off the tail of his dog, which was the
dog's principal ornament, and all Athens cried out against him for the
act, Alcibiades laughed, and said: "Just what I wanted has happened. I
wished the Athenians to talk about this that they might not say
something worse of me."

We are not to be suspected of indifference to the question whether
woman shall vote. At a proper time we mean to urge her claim, but we
object to allowing a measure of urgent necessity, and on which the
public has made up its mind, to be retarded and imperilled. Nor do we
think the Radical majority in the Senate need be beholden to the
enemy's camp for suggestions as to their policy. We want to see the
ballot put in the hands of the black without one day's delay added to
the long postponement of his just claim. When that is done, we shall
be ready to take up the next question.

[57] Mrs. Frances Dana Gage, of Ohio.

[58] YEAS--Messrs. Anthony, Brown, Buckalew, Cowan, Foster, Nesmith,
Patterson, Riddle, Wade--9. NAYS--Messrs. Cattell, Chandler, Conness,
Creswell, Davis, Dixon, Doolittle, Edmunds, Fessenden, Fogg,
Frelinghuysen, Grimes, Harris, Henderson, Hendricks, Howard, Howe,
Kirkwood, Lane, Morgan, Morrill, Norton, Poland, Pomeroy, Ramsey,
Ross, Saulsbury, Sherman, Sprague, Stewart, Sumner, Trumbull, Van
Winkle, Willey, Williams, Wilson, Yates--37.

[59] YEAS--Ancona, Baker, Barker, Baxter, Benjamin, Boyer, Broomall,
Bundy, Campbell, Cooper, Defrees, Denison, Eldridge, Farnsworth,
Ferry, Finck, Garfield, Hale, Hawkins, Hise, Chester D. Hubbard, Edwin
N. Hubbell, Humphrey, Julian, Kasson, Kelley, Kelso, Le Blond, Coan,
McClurg, McKee, Miller, Newell, Niblock, Noell, Orth, Ritter, Rogers,
Ross, Sitgreaves, Starr, Stevens, Strouse, Taber, Nathaniel G. Taylor,
Trimble, Andrew H. Ward, Henry D. Washburn, Winfield--49.




CHAPTER XVIII.

NATIONAL CONVENTIONS IN 1866-67.

The first National Woman Suffrage Convention after the
war--Speeches by Ernestine L. Rose, Antoinette Brown Blackwell,
Henry Ward Beecher, Frances D. Gage, Theodore Tilton, Wendell
Phillips--Petitions to Congress and the Constitutional
Convention--Mrs. Stanton a candidate to Congress--Anniversary of
the Equal Rights Association.


The first Woman's Rights Convention[60] after the war was held in the
Church of the Puritans, New York, May 10th, 1866.

As the same persons were identified with the Anti-slavery and Woman's
Rights Societies, and as by the "Proclamation of Emancipation" the
colored man was now a freeman, and a citizen; and as bills were
pending in Congress to secure him in the right of suffrage, the same
right women were demanding, it was proposed to merge the societies
into one, under the name of "The American Equal Rights Association,"
that the same conventions, appeals, and petitions, might include both
classes of disfranchised citizens. The proposition was approved by the
majority of those present, and the new organization completed at an
adjourned session. Though Mr. Garrison, with many other abolitionists,
feeling that the Anti-slavery work was finished, had retired, and thus
partly disorganized that Society, yet, in its executive session,
Wendell Phillips, President, refused to entertain the proposition, on
the ground that such action required an amendment to the constitution,
which could not be made without three months previous notice.
Nevertheless there was a marked division of opinion among the
anti-slavery friends present.

[Illustration: Clemence Sophia Lozier. "Yours Sincerely Clemence Sophia
Lozier, M.D."]

At an early hour Dr. Cheever's church was well filled with an audience
chiefly of ladies, who received the officers and speakers[61] of the
Convention with hearty applause. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, President of
the "National Woman's Rights Committee," called the Convention to
order, and said:

We have assembled to-day to discuss the right and duty of women
to claim and use the ballot. Now in the reconstruction is the
opportunity, perhaps for the century, to base our government on
the broad principle of equal rights to all. The representative
women of the nation feel that they have an interest and duty
equal with man in the struggles and triumphs of this hour.

It may not be known to all of you that, during the past year,
thousands of petitions, asking the ballot for woman, have been
circulated through the Northern States and sent to Congress. Our
thanks are due to the Hon. James Brooks for his kindness in
franking our petitions, and his skill in calling to them the
attention of the nation. As we have lost this champion in the
House, I trust his more fortunate successor will not _dodge_ his
responsibilities to his countrywomen who are taxed but not
represented.



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