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And it is just because woman is woman that she is
fitted, while she takes care of the household, to take care of
the village and the community around about her.

But it is said, "She ought to act through her father, or husband,
or brother, or son." Why ought she? Did you ever frame an
argument to show why the girl should use her father to vote for
her, and the boy who is younger, and not half so witty, should
vote for himself? It does not admit of an argument. If the
grandmother, the mother, the wife, and the eldest daughter, are
to be voted for by the father, the husband, and the eldest
brother, then why are not the children to be voted for in
complete family relation by the patriarchal head? Why not go back
to the tribal custom of the desert, and let the patriarch do all
the voting? To be sure, it would change the whole form of our
government; but, if it is good for the family, it is just as good
for classes.

In a frontier settlement is a log-cabin, and it is in a region
which is infested by wolves. There are in the family a
broken-down patient of a man, a mother, and three daughters. The
house is surrounded by a pack of these voracious animals, and the
inmates feel that their safety requires that the intruders should
be driven away. There are three or four rifles in the house. The
man creeps to one of the windows, and to the mother and daughters
it is said, "You load the rifles, and hand them to me, and let me
fire them." But they can load all the four rifles, and he can not
fire half as fast as they can load; and I say to the mother, "Can
you shoot?" She says, "Let me try;" and she takes a gun, and
points it at the wolves, and pulls the trigger, and I see one of
them throw his feet up in the air. "Ah!" I say, "I see you can
shoot! You keep the rifle, and fire it yourself." And I say to
the oldest daughter, "Can you shoot?" "I guess I can," she says.
"Well, dare you?" "I dare do anything to save father and the
family." And she takes one of the rifles, and pops over another
of the pack. And I tell you, if the wolves knew that all the
women were firing, they would flee from that cabin instanter.
(Laughter). I do not object to a woman loading a man's rifle and
letting him shoot; but I say that, if there are two rifles, she
ought to load one of them, and shoot herself. And I do not see
any use of a woman's influencing a man and loading him with a
vote, and letting him go and fire it off at the ballot-box.
(Laughter and applause).

It is said, again, "Woman is a creature of such an excitable
nature that, if she were to mingle with men in public affairs, it
would introduce a kind of vindictive acrimony, and politics would
become intolerable." Oh, if I really thought so; if I thought
that the purity of politics would be sullied, I would not say
another word! (Laughter). I do not want to take anything from the
celestial graces of politics! (Renewed laughter). I will admit
that woman is an excitable creature, and I will admit that
politics needs no more excitement; but sometimes, you know,
things are homoeopathic. A woman's excitement is apt to put out a
man's; and if she should bring her excitability into politics, it
is likely that it would neutralize the excitement that is already
there, and that there would be a grand peace! (Laughter). But,
not to trifle with it, woman is excitable. Woman is yet to be
educated. Woman is yet to experience the reactionary influence of
being a public legislator and thinker. And let her sphere be
extended beyond the family and the school, so that she should be
interested in, and actively engaged in, promoting the welfare of
the whole community, and in the course of three generations the
reaction on her would be such that the excitement that she would
bring into public affairs would be almost purely moral
inspiration. It would be the excitement of purity and
disinterested benevolence.

It is said, furthermore, "Woman might vote for herself, and take
office." Why not? A woman makes as good a postmistress as a man
does a postmaster. Woman has been tried in every office from the
throne to the position of the humblest servant; and where has she
been found remiss? I believe that multitudes of the offices that
are held by men are mere excuses for leading an effeminate life;
and that with their superior physical strength it behooves them
better to be actors out of doors, where the severity of climate
and the elements is to be encountered, and leave indoor offices
to women, to whom they more properly belong. But, women, you are
not educated for these offices. I hear bad reports of you. It is
told me that the trouble in giving places to women is that they
will not do their work well; that they do not feel the sense of
conscience. They have been flattered so long, they have been
called "women" so long, they have had compliments instead of
rights so long, that they are spoiled; but when a generation of
young women shall have been educated to a stern sense of right
and duty, and shall take no compliments at the expense of right,
we shall have no such complaints as these. And when a generation
of women, working with the love of God and true patriotism in
their souls, shall have begun to hold office, meriting it, and
being elected to it by those that would rather have a woman than
a man in office, then you may depend upon it that education has
qualified them for the trusts which are committed to them. We
have tried "old women" in office, and I am convinced that it
would be better to have _real_ women than virile old women in
public stations. (Laughter and applause). For my own sake, give
me a just, considerate, true, straight-forward, honest-minded,
noble-hearted woman, who has been able, in the fear of God, to
bring up six boys in the way they should go, and settle them in
life. If there is anything harder in this nation than that, tell
me what it is. A woman that can bring up a family of
strong-brained children, and make good citizens of them, can be
President without any difficulty. (Applause).

Let me now close with one single thought in connection with this
objection. I protest in the name of my countrywomen against the
aspersion which is cast upon them by those who say that woman is
not fit to hold office or discharge public trusts. The name of
what potentate to-day, if you go round the world, would
probably, in every nation on the earth, bring down most
enthusiasm and public approbation? If I now, here in your midst,
shall mention the name of Queen Victoria, your cheers will be a
testimony to your admiration of this noble woman. (Great
applause). Though it be in a political meeting, or any other
public gathering, no man can mention her name without eliciting
enthusiasm and tokens of respect. It is a controversy to-day
between woman aristocratic and woman democratic (applause); and I
claim that what it is right for an aristocratic woman to do--what
it is right for a duchess, or a queen, or an empress to do--it is
right for the simplest and plainest of my countrywomen to do,
that has no title, and no credentials, except the fact that God
made her a woman. All that I claim for the proudest aristocrat I
claim for all other women. (Applause). I do not object to a
woman's being a queen, or a president, if she has the
qualifications which fit her to be one. And I claim that, where
there is a woman that has the requisite qualifications for
holding any office in the family, in the church, or in the state,
there is no reason why she should not be allowed to hold it. And
we shall have a perfect crystal idea of the state, with all its
contents, only when man understands the injunction, "What God
hath joined together let no man put asunder."[63] (Great
applause).

SUSAN B. ANTHONY read the following appeal to the Congress of the
United States for the enfranchisement of woman:

ADDRESS TO CONGRESS.

Adopted by the Eleventh National Woman's Rights Convention,
held in New York City, Thursday, May 10, 1866.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

We have already appeared many times during the present session
before your honorable body, in petitions, asking the
enfranchisement of woman; and now, from this National Convention
we again make our appeal, and urge you to lay no hand on that
"pyramid of rights," the Constitution of the Fathers," unless to
add glory to its height and strength to its foundation.

We will not rehearse the oft-repeated arguments on the natural
rights of every citizen, pressed as they have been on the
nation's conscience for the last thirty years in securing freedom
for the black man, and so grandly echoed on the floor of Congress
during the past winter. We can not add one line or precept to the
inexhaustible speech recently made by Charles Sumner in the
Senate, to prove that "no just government can be formed without
the consent of the governed;" to prove the dignity, the
education, the power, the necessity, the salvation of the ballot
in the hand of every man and woman; to prove that a just
government and a true church rest alike on the sacred rights of
the individual.

As you are familiar with that speech of the session on "EQUAL
RIGHTS TO ALL," so convincing in facts, so clear in philosophy,
and so elaborate in quotations from the great minds of the past,
without reproducing the chain of argument, permit us to call your
attention to a few of its unanswerable assertions on the ballot:

I plead now for the ballot, as the great guarantee; and _the
only sufficient guarantee_--being in itself peacemaker,
reconciler, schoolmaster and protector--to which we are
bound by every necessity and every reason; and I speak also
for the good of the States lately in rebellion, as well as
for the glory and safety of the Republic, that it may be an
example to mankind.

Ay, sir, the ballot is the Columbiad of our political life,
and every citizen who has it is a full-armed Monitor.

The ballot is _schoolmaster_.



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