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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. Their proceedings show
their full appreciation of the fact that the rights of men and
the rights of women must stand or fall together.

Mrs. Dall called the meeting to order, and introduced as its
president, Martha C. Wright, of Auburn, N. Y., in the absence of
Lucretia Mott, the president of the Association. Mrs. Wright made
some well-chosen introductory remarks; Miss Susan B. Anthony read
letters of friendly greeting from Frederick Douglass and William
Lloyd Garrison, and then a very admirable report was read by Mrs.
Dall, summing up the advance made in the woman's cause the past
year.... The freedom of the platform was an admirable feature of
this Convention. Early in the proceedings it was announced that
any member of the audience, male or female, was entitled to speak
on the topics under debate, and would be made welcome. Among
those who addressed the Convention were Parker Pillsbury, Henry
C. Wright, Aaron M. Powell, Dr. Sarah Young, Rev. Olympia Brown
(minister of a church at Weymouth), Susan B. Anthony, Stephen S.
Foster, Mr. Tooker, Ira Stewart, Charles C. Burleigh, Wendell
Phillips, Frances Ellen Harper, Anna E. Dickinson. The mention of
these names is enough to indicate that there was abundance of
good speaking. No time was lost, and the hours of three sessions
were pleasantly and profitably filled.

Mr. Pillsbury said the word "male," as a restriction upon the
action of women, is unknown to the Federal Constitution, as well
as the word "black," and that its introduction into that document
should be resisted in the most strenuous manner, since we can
never have a true democracy while the work of government is
monopolized by a privileged class.... Wendell Phillips, admitting
that the suffrage is the great question of the hour, thought,
nevertheless, that in view of the peculiar circumstances of the
negro's position, his claim to this right might fairly be
considered to have precedence.... This hour, then, is
preŽminently the property of the negro. Nevertheless, said Mr.
Phillips, I willingly stand here to plead the woman's cause,
because the Republican party are seeking to carry their purpose
by newly introducing the word "male" into the Constitution. To
prevent such a corruption of the National Constitution, as well
as for the general welfare of the community, male and female, I
wish to excite interest everywhere in the maintenance of woman's
right to vote. This woman's meeting was well conducted, and met
with success in every way.....

FRANCES D. GAGE, in a letter to the _National Anti-Slavery
Standard_, May 26, 1866, speaking of her attendance of the
anniversary meetings in New York, said: "If the Anti-Slavery work
has fallen somewhat behind our hope, that of the Woman's Rights
movement has far outstripped our most sanguine expectations. When
the war-cry was heard in 1861, the advance-guard of the Woman's
Rights party cried 'halt!' And for five years we have stood
waiting while the grand drama of the Rebellion was passing. Not
as idle spectators, but as the busiest and most unwearied actors
on the boards. We have, as our manly men assert, fought half the
battle, and helped to win the victory.

"Wendell Phillips said, 'Women made this war!' By the same
process of reasoning women may claim that 'they made the peace,'
that 'they broke the chains of the slave, and redeemed the land
from its most direful curse.' Be this true or otherwise, one fact
is patent to every mind--woman to-day is an acknowledged power!
And when we met at the Church of the Puritans last week, we found
Woman's Rights filling its halls and galleries as never before;
with a Beecher and a Tilton to defend our cause, but not one
sneerer or opposer to open his or her lips. Who now will dare
call us 'infidels,' since Bishop Simpson, Henry Ward Beecher, and
Dr. Tyng champion our cause, and proclaim it 'woman's _duty_ to
vote for the good of humanity'? Who will now dare sneer while the
leading minds of Europe--among them Ruskin, John Stuart Mill,
Mazzini, Victor Hugo--must share the odium with those hitherto
called 'strong-minded?'

"It was with pain that I heard Wendell Phillips say on our
platform, 'Albany can not help you; your throne is the world of
fashion!'--meaning women. If we are given over to fashion,
frivolity, and vice, does it follow that rights and privileges,
duties and responsibilities will not help us? If just governments
derive their powers from the consent of the governed, and
taxation without representation is tyranny, then Albany can help
us in just so much as a good and just government will help the
people who live under its rules and laws. No one would at this
day, if a friend to the negro, say to him, 'A vote can not help
you!' Then why say it to women?

"Our Woman's Rights Convention has now taken the broad platform
of 'Equal Rights,' and upon that will work in time to come. And
our meeting in New York seemed proof--if proof was wanting--that
all we need now is to ask and receive. Our worst enemy, our
greatest hindrance, is woman herself; and her indifference is the
legitimate result of long-denied privileges and responsibilities
of which she has not learned the necessity. If, as Mr. Beecher
asserted, 'to vote is a duty,' then it is the duty of every man
and woman to work to secure that right to every human being of
adult years.

"Since our meeting, the House of Representatives at Washington
has passed, by more than three to one, the amendment of the
Reconstruction Committee. If the Senate concurs, then, to save
the four million negroes of the South, or rather to save the
Republican party (the people agreeing), seventeen millions of
women, governed without their own consent, are proclaimed a
disfranchised class by the Constitution of the United States,
hitherto unpolluted by any such legislation. Let us, then, work
for this, too, that seventeen million women shall not be left
without the power considered so necessary to the negro for his
preservation and protection; the power to help govern himself.
Let us never forget his claim, but strengthen it, by not
neglecting our own."

At the November election of this year, Mrs. Stanton offered herself as
a candidate for Congress; in order to test the constitutional right of
a woman to run for office. This aroused some discussion on this phase
of the question, and many were surprised to learn that while women
could not vote, they could hold any office in which their constituents
might see fit to place them. Theodore Tilton gives the following
graphic description of this event in "The Eminent Women":

In a cabinet of curiosities I have laid away as an interesting
relic, a little white ballot, two inches square, and inscribed:

+-------------------------------------+
| _For Representative to Congress_, |
| ELIZABETH CADY STANTON. |
+-------------------------------------+

Mrs. Stanton is the only woman in the United States who, as yet,
has been a candidate for Congress. In conformity with a practice
prevalent in some parts of this country, and very prevalent in
England, she nominated herself. The public letter in which she
proclaimed herself a candidate was as follows:


_To the Electors of the Eighth Congressional District_:

Although, by the Constitution of the State of New York woman is
denied the elective franchise, yet she is eligible to office;
therefore, I present myself to you as a candidate for
Representative to Congress. Belonging to a disfranchised class, I
have no political antecedents to recommend me to your
support,--but my creed is _free speech_, _free press_, _free
men_, and _free trade_,--the cardinal points of democracy.
Viewing all questions from the stand-point of principle rather
than expediency, there is a fixed uniform law, as yet
unrecognized by either of the leading parties, governing alike
the social and political life of men and nations. The Republican
party has occasionally a clear vision of personal rights, though
in its protective policy it seems wholly blind to the rights of
property and interests of commerce; while it recognizes the duty
of benevolence between man and man, it teaches the narrowest
selfishness in trade between nations. The Democrats, on the
contrary, while holding sound and liberal principles on trade and
commerce, have ever in their political affiliations maintained
the idea of class and caste among men--an idea wholly at variance
with the genius of our free institutions and fatal to high
civilization. One party fails at one point and one at another.

In asking your suffrages--believing alike in free men and free
trade--I could not represent either party as now constituted.
Nevertheless, as an Independent Candidate, I desire an election
at this time, as a rebuke to the dominant party for its
retrogressive legislation in so amending the National
Constitution as to make invidious distinctions on the ground of
sex. That instrument recognizes as persons all citizens who obey
the laws and support the State, and if the Constitutions of the
several States were brought into harmony with the broad
principles of the Federal Constitution, the women of the Nation
would no longer be taxed without representation, or governed
without their consent.



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