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
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. FOSTER said, Many seemed to think that the one
question for this hour was negro suffrage. The question for every
man and woman, he thought, was the true basis of the
reconstruction of our government, not the rights of woman, or the
negro, but the rights of all men and women. Suffrage for woman
was even a more vital question than for the negro; for in giving
the ballot to the black man, we bring no new element into the
national life--simply another class of men. And for one, he could
not ask woman to go up and down the length and breadth of the
land demanding the political recognition of any class of
disfranchised citizens, while her own rights are ignored. Thank
God, the human family are so linked together, that no one man can
ever enjoy life, liberty, or happiness, so long as the humblest
being is crippled in a single right. I have demanded the freedom
of the slave the last thirty years, because he was a human being,
and I now demand suffrage for the negro because he is a human
being, and for the same reason I demand the ballot for woman.
Therefore, our demand for this hour is equal suffrage to all
disfranchised classes, for the one and the same reason--they are
all human beings.

MARTHA C. WRIGHT said: Some one had remarked that we wished to
merge ourselves into an Equal Rights Association to get rid of
the odious name of Woman's Rights. This she repudiated as
unworthy and untrue. Every good cause had been odious some time,
even the name Christian has had its odium in all nations. We
desire the change, because we feel that at this hour our highest
claims are as citizens, and not as women. I for one have always
gloried in the name of Woman's Rights, and pitied those of my sex
who ignobly declared they had all the rights they wanted. We take
the new name for the broader work because we see it is no longer
woman's province to be merely a humble petitioner for redress of
grievances, but that she must now enter into the fullness of her
mission, that of helping to make the laws, and administer
justice.

Aaron M. Powell presented the following resolution:

_Resolved_, That in view of the Constitutional Convention to be
held in the State of New York the coming year, it is the duty of
this Association to demand such an amendment of the Constitution
as shall secure equal rights to all citizens, without distinction
of color, sex, or race.

Miss Anthony seconded the resolution, and urged the importance of
making a thorough canvass of the State with lectures, tracts, and
petitions.[67] Mr. Powell, Mrs. Gage, and others, advocated the
concentration of all the energies of the Association for the coming
year on the State of New York; after which the resolution was adopted.

PARKER PILLSBURY: Perhaps we ourselves do not appreciate the
magnitude of the enterprise we are here to inaugurate. If
successful, we close to-day one epoch in human history, and enter
on another of results more millennial than have been seen before.
We give now a new definition to the word Liberty. We clothe our
divinity with new honors. The ancients worshiped in her temple,
but to them all, even the devoutest, she was ever an "Unknown
God." In all ages, men sing her praises, but know not her law.
Our revolutionary fathers were blind as others--blinder than many
others. They declared all men free and equal. They fought long
and valiantly for their evangel, baptizing it in the blood of
many battles, came home triumphant, and then constructed a
despotism which their own immortal Jefferson declared was fraught
with more woes in one hour, to myriads of its citizens, than
would be endured in whole ages of the worst they themselves had
ever known! That government they named a Republic. Under it we
held millions of slaves, and were providing to hold many millions
more, when God sent a thunderbolt and dashed it in pieces before
our eyes and gave our slaves their freedom. Now our wise men and
counselors, our statesmen and sages, are seeking how the
government and Union may be reconstructed. But they are laying
again false foundations. Of three immense classes, they proscribe
two and provide for one; and that one perhaps a minority of the
whole. Half our people are degraded for their sex; one-sixth for
the color of their skin. And this is the republican and
democratic definition of freedom. The ruling class boasts two
qualities, in virtue of which it claims the right to rule all
others. It is male, not female--white, not colored. For neither
of these surely is it responsible. For being women and colored,
the proscribed classes are no more responsible. A more cruel,
unrighteous, unjust distinction was never made under heaven. By
it we are driven into this new revolution; a revolution which is
to eclipse all that have gone before, as far as the glories of
Calvary outshone the shadows and terrors of Sinai. Even the
Anti-Slavery Society can only demand equality for the _male_ half
of mankind. And the Woman's Rights movement contemplated only
_woman_ in its demand. But with us liberty means freedom,
equality, and fraternity, irrespective of sex or complexion. It
is a gospel that was unknown to the ancients; hidden even from
the wise and prudent among our revolutionary fathers.
Revolutionary _mothers_ we seem never to have had. As in Eden,
"Adam was first found, then Eve," so in our revolution; but Eve
has come to-day, demanding her portion of the equal inheritance,
a mystery, a wonder, a "_new thing under the sun_," the
declaration of King Solomon to the contrary notwithstanding. And
here and to-day we lay new foundations. For the first time, law
and liberty are to be founded in nature and the government of the
moral universe. For the first time is it demanded that JUSTICE be
made our chief corner-stone. The ancient republics, not thus
underpinned, fell. Our old foundations, too, are fallen. In God's
wisdom, not in man's foolishness, let us henceforth build. And
the work of our hands, feeble as we seem to-day, shall survive
all the present kingdoms and dominions of the world.

Miss ANTHONY remarked that Theodore Tilton was in the house, and
had not yet spoken. She would like to hear his opinion.

Mr. TILTON replied that of course Miss Anthony was speaking in
pleasantry when she thus ingeniously pretended not to know his
opinion. This pretense was only a piece of strategy to compel him
to make a speech. Both she and he had lately been co-workers in a
local association for just such a purpose as to-day's enterprise
meditated--"The New York Equal Rights Association," of which he
had had the honor to be president, and Miss Anthony to be
secretary--an association which both its secretary and its
president were only too glad to see superseded by a larger and
more general movement. The apple tree bears more blossoms which
fall off than come to fruit. Our local association was the
necessary first blossom which had to be blown away by the wind.
No--he would rather say it was a blossom which had ripened to-day
into golden fruit. And now, said he, in this consecrated house,
at this sunset hour, amid these falling shadows, with a president
in the chair whose well-spent life has been crowned with every
virtue, let us make a covenant with each other such as was made
by the original members of the American Anti-Slavery Society--a
mutual pledge of diligent and earnest labor, not for the
abolition of chattel slavery, but for the political rights of all
classes, without regard to color or sex. Are we only a handful?
We are more than formed the Anti-Slavery Society--which grew into
a force that shook the nation. Who knows but that to-night we are
laying the corner-stone of an equally grand movement? Let us,
therefore, catch at this moment the cheering pretoken of the
prophecy that declares, "At evening time there shall be light!"

A motion was made to adjourn, when the President, Lucretia Mott, made
a few closing remarks, showing that all great achievements in the
progress of the race must be slow, and were ever wrought out by the
few, in isolation and ridicule--but, said she, let us remember in our
trials and discouragements, that if our lives are true, we walk with
angels--the great and good who have gone before us, and God is our
Father. As she uttered her few parting words of benediction, the
fading sunlight through the stained windows, fell upon her pure face,
a celestial glory seemed about her, and a sweet and peaceful influence
pervaded every heart. And all responded to Theodore Tilton when he
said, "this closing meeting of the Convention was one of the most
beautiful, delightful, and memorable which any of its participants
ever enjoyed."

The Convention adjourned to meet in Boston May 31, 1866, where a
large, enthusiastic meeting was held, of which we find the following
report by Charles K. Whipple.

_From the National Anti-Slavery Standard of June 9, 1866._

The meeting next in interest as in time, among the crowded
assemblies of Anniversary week, was that of the Equal Rights
Association, called and managed by those intelligent and
excellent women who have for years labored in behalf of Woman's
Rights. A large portion of the community have been accustomed to
sneer at these ladies as self-seeking and fanatical. The new
position they have taken shows, on the contrary, the largeness of
their views, the breadth of their sympathy, and the practical
good sense which govern their operations.



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.