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Do not imagine
you come one line nearer the demand of justice by enfranchising
but another shade of _man_hood; for, in denying representation to
woman you still cling to the same principle on which all the
governments of the past have been wrecked. The right way, the
safe way, is so clear, the path of duty is so straight and
simple, that we who are equally interested with yourselves in the
result, conjure you to act not for the passing hour, not with
reference to transient benefits, but to do now the one grand deed
that shall mark the progress of the century--proclaim EQUAL
RIGHTS TO ALL. We press our demand for the ballot at this time in
no narrow, captious or selfish spirit; from no contempt of the
black man's claims, nor antagonism with you, who in the progress
of civilization are now the privileged order; but from the purest
patriotism, for the highest good of every citizen, for the safety
of the Republic, and as a spotless example to the nations of the
earth.

Mr. Beecher was followed by Wendell Phillips, Frances Dana Gage,
Frances Watkins Harper; the Financial Committee[64] meantime passed
through the audience for the material aid to carry forward the work.
Miss Anthony presented the following resolution, and moved its
adoption, which was seconded by Martha C. Wright:

_Whereas_, By the act of Emancipation and the Civil Rights
bill, the negro and woman now hold the same civil and
political _status_, alike needing only the ballot; and
whereas the same arguments apply equally to both classes,
proving all partial legislation fatal to republican
institutions, therefore,

_Resolved_, That the time has come for an organization that
shall demand UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE, and that hereafter we shall
be known as the "AMERICAN EQUAL RIGHTS ASSOCIATION."

Miss ANTHONY said: Our friend Mrs. Mott desires me to explain the
object of this change, which she would gladly do but for a severe
cold, which prevents her from making herself heard. For twenty
years we have pressed the claims of woman to the right of
representation in the government. The first National Woman's
Rights Convention was held in Worcester, Mass., in 1850, and each
successive year conventions were held in different cities of the
Free States--Worcester, Syracuse, Cleveland, Philadelphia,
Cincinnati, and New York--until the rebellion. Since then, till
now, we have held no conventions. Up to this hour, we have looked
to State action only for the recognition of our rights; but now,
by the results of the war, the whole question of suffrage
reverts back to Congress and the U. S. Constitution. The duty of
Congress at this moment is to declare what shall be the basis of
representation in a republican form of government. There is,
there can be, but one true basis; and that is that taxation must
give representation; hence our demand must now go beyond
woman--it must extend to the farthest bound of the principle of
the "consent of the governed," as the only authorized or just
government. We, therefore, wish to broaden our Woman's Rights
platform, and make it in _name_--what it ever has been in
_spirit_--a Human Rights platform. It has already been stated
that we have petitioned Congress the past winter to so amend the
Constitution as to prohibit disfranchisement on account of sex.
We were roused to this work by the several propositions to
prohibit negro disfranchisement in the rebel States, which at the
same time put up a new bar against the enfranchisement of women.
As women we can no longer _seem_ to claim for ourselves what we
do not for others--nor can we work in two separate movements to
get the ballot for the two disfranchised classes--the negro and
woman--since to do so must be at double cost of time, energy, and
money.

New York is to hold a Constitutional Convention the coming year.
We want to make a thorough canvass of the entire State, with
lectures, tracts, and petitions, and, if possible, create a
public sentiment that shall send genuine Democrats and
Republicans to that Convention who shall strike out from our
Constitution the two adjectives "_white male_," giving to every
citizen, over twenty-one, the right to vote, and thus make the
Empire State the first example of a true republican form of
government. And what we propose to do in New York, the coming
eighteen months, we hope to do in every other State so soon as we
can get the men, and the women, and the money, to go forward with
the work. Therefore, that we may henceforth concentrate all our
forces for the practical application of our one grand,
distinctive, national idea--UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE--I hope we will
unanimously adopt the resolution before us, thus resolving this
Eleventh National Woman's Rights Convention into the "AMERICAN
EQUAL RIGHTS ASSOCIATION."

The Resolution was unanimously adopted.

STEPHEN S. FOSTER said: I wish to suggest that it will be
necessary, first, to adopt a form of Constitution, and that it is
a very important question. Upon it will depend much of the
success of our movement. We have been deeply thrilled by the
eloquence of our friend, Mr. Beecher. We have all felt that his
utterances were the essential truth of God; and the bright
picture he drew before us is a possibility, if we do our duty.
But this state of things will never be realized by us, unless it
is from a united, persevering effort, giving a new impetus to the
Woman's Rights movement. I think it necessary that we should have
a more perfect organization than we can prepare this morning, at
this late hour, and I therefore move that we adjourn to meet in
the vestry this afternoon at four o'clock, to perfect an
organization, and take such further measures for the prosecution
of our cause as may then and there be deemed expedient. (The
motion was carried.)

A large audience assembled in the Lecture-room, at four o'clock. Susan
B. Anthony took the Chair and said, the first thing, in order to
complete the new organization, would be to fix upon a form of
Constitution. Parker Pillsbury, from the Business Committee, reported
one which was considered article by article, and adopted. There was an
interesting discussion relative to the necessity of a preamble, in
which the majority sympathized with LUCRETIA MOTT, who expressed
herself specially desirous that there should be one, and that it
should state the fact that this new organization was the outgrowth of
the Woman's Rights movement. Mrs. Stanton gave her idea of what the
preamble should be; and Mrs. Mott moved that Mrs. Stanton write out
her thought, and that it be accepted as the preamble of the
Constitution.[65] The motion was adopted. Miss Anthony proposed a
list of names as officers[66] of the Association. Mrs. Stanton thanked
the Convention for the honor proposed, to make her President, but said
she should prefer to see Lucretia Mott in that office; that thus that
office might ever be held sacred in the memory that it had first been
filled by one so loved and honored by all. "I shall be happy as
Vice-President to relieve my dear friend of the arduous duties of her
office, if she will but give us the blessing of her name as
President." Mrs. Stanton then moved that Mrs. Mott be the President,
which was seconded by many voices, and carried by a unanimous vote.

Mrs. Mott, escorted to the Chair by Stephen S. Foster, remarked that
her age and feebleness unfitted her for any public duties, but she
rejoiced in the inauguration of a movement broad enough to cover
class, color, and sex, and would be happy to give her name and
influence, if thus she might encourage the young and strong to carry
on the good work. On motion of Theodore Tilton, Mrs. Stanton was made
first Vice-President. The rest of the names were approved.

Mrs. STANTON said, It had been the desire of her heart to see the
Anti-Slavery and Woman's Rights organizations merged into an
Equal Rights Association, as the two questions were now one. With
emancipation, all that the black man asks is the right of
suffrage. With the special legislation of the last twenty years,
all that woman asks is the right of suffrage. Hence it seems an
unnecessary expenditure of force and substance for the same men
and women to meet in convention on Tuesday to discuss the right
of one class to the ballot, and on Thursday to discuss the right
of another class to the same. Has not the time come, Mrs.
President, to bury the black man and the woman in the citizen,
and our two organizations in the broader work of reconstruction?
They who have been trained in the school of anti-slavery; they
who, for the last thirty years, have discussed the whole question
of human rights, which involves every other question of trade,
commerce, finance, political economy, jurisprudence, morals and
religion, are the true statesmen for the new republic--the best
enunciators of our future policy of justice and equality. Any
work short of this is narrow and partial and fails to meet the
requirements of the hour. What is so plain to me, may, I trust,
be so to all before the lapse of many months, that all who have
worked together thus far, may still stand side by side in this
crisis of our nation's history.

JAMES MOTT said, he rejoiced that the women had seen fit to
re-organize their movement into one for equal rights to all,
that he felt the time had come to broaden our work. He felt the
highest good of the nation demanded the recognition of woman as a
citizen. We could have no true government until all the people
gave their consent to the laws that govern them.

STEPHEN S.



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