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He would rejoice at the
enfranchisement of colored men, and believed that Mrs. Stanton
would, though that were all we could get at the time. Yet, if we
rest there, and allow the reconstruction to be completed, leaving
out the better half of humanity, we must expect further trouble;
and it might be a more awful and sanguinary civil war than that
which we have just experienced.

GEORGE T. DOWNING desired that the Convention should express its
opinion upon the point he had raised; and, therefore, offered the
following resolution:

_Resolved_, That while we regret that the right sentiment,
which would secure to women the ballot, is not as general as
we would have it, nevertheless we wish it distinctly
understood that we rejoice at the increasing sentiment which
favors the enfranchisement of the colored man.

Mr. DOWNING understood Mrs. Stanton to refuse to rejoice at a
_part_ of the good results to be accomplished, if she could not
achieve the whole, and he wished to ask if she was unwilling the
colored man should have the vote until the women could have it
also? He said we had no right to refuse an act of justice upon
the assumption that it would be followed by an act of injustice.

Mrs. STANTON replied she demanded the ballot for all. She asked
for reconstruction on the basis of self-government; but if we are
to have further class legislation, she thought the wisest order
of enfranchisement was to take the educated classes first. If
women are still to be represented by men, then I say let only the
highest type of manhood stand at the helm of State. But if all
men are to vote, black and white, lettered and unlettered, washed
and unwashed, the safety of the nation as well as the interests
of woman demand that we outweigh this incoming tide of
ignorance, poverty, and vice, with the virtue, wealth, and
education of the women of the country. With the black man you
have no new force in government--it is manhood still; but with
the enfranchisement of woman, you have a new and essential
element of life and power. Would Horace Greeley, Wendell
Phillips, Gerrit Smith, or Theodore Tilton be willing to stand
aside and trust their individual interests, and the whole welfare
of the nation, to the lowest strata of manhood? If not, why ask
educated women, who love their country, who desire to mould its
institutions on the highest idea of justice and equality, who
feel that their enfranchisement is of vital importance to this
end, why ask them to stand aside while 2,000,000 ignorant men are
ushered into the halls of legislation?

EDWARD M. DAVIS asked what had been done with Mr. Burleigh's
amendment.

The CHAIR--No action was taken upon it, as no one seconded it.

ABBY KELLY FOSTER said: I am in New York for medical treatment,
not for speech-making; yet I must say a few words in relation to
a remark recently made on this platform--that "The negro should
not enter the kingdom of politics before woman, because he would
be an additional weight against her enfranchisement." Were the
negro and woman in the same civil, social, and religious status
to-day, I should respond aye, with all my heart, to this
sentiment. What are the facts? You say the negro has the civil
rights bill, also the military reconstruction bill granting him
suffrage. It has been well said, "he has the title deed to
liberty, but is not yet in the possession of liberty." He is
treated as a slave to-day in the several districts of the South.
Without wages, without family rights, whipped and beaten by
thousands, given up to the most horrible outrages, without that
protection which his value as property formerly gave him. Again,
he is liable without farther guarantees, to be plunged into
peonage, serfdom or even into chattel slavery. Have we any true
sense of justice, are we not dead to the sentiment of humanity if
we shall wish to postpone his security against present woes and
future enslavement till woman shall obtain political rights?

Rev. HENRY WARD BEECHER said: It seems that my modesty in not
lending my name has been a matter of some grief. I will try
hereafter to be less modest. When I get my growth I hope to
overcome that. I certainly should not have been present to-day,
except that a friend said to me that some who were expected had
not come. When a cause is well launched and is prospering, I
never feel specially called to help it. When a cause that I
believe to be just is in the minority, and is struggling for a
hearing, then I should always be glad to be counted among those
who were laboring for it in the days when it lacked friends. I
come to bear testimony, not as if I had not already done it, but
again, as confirmed by all that I have read, whether of things
written in England or spoken in America, in the belief that this
movement is not the mere progeny of a fitful and feverish
_ism_--that it is not a mere frothing eddy whose spirit is but
the chafing of the water upon the rock--but that it is a part of
that great tide which follows the drawing of heaven itself. I
believe it to be so. I trust that it will not be invidious if I
say, therefore, I hope the friends of this cause will not fall
out by the way. If the division of opinion amounts merely to
this, that you have two blades, and therefore can cut, I have no
objection to it; but if there is such a division of opinion in
respect to mere details, how important those details are, among
friends that are one at the bottom where principles are, that
there is to be a falling out there, I shall exceedingly regret
it; I shall regret that our strength is weakened, when we need it
to be augmented most, or concentrated.

All my lifetime the great trouble has been that in merely
speculative things theologians have been such furious logicians,
have picked up their premises, and rushed with them with
race-horse speed to such remote conclusions, that in the region
of ideas our logical minds have become accustomed to draw results
as remote as the very eternities from any premises given. My
difficulty on the other hand, has been that in practical matters,
owing to the existence of this great mephitic swamp of slavery,
men have been utterly unwilling to draw conclusions at all; and
that the most familiar principles of political economy or
politics have been enunciated, and then always docked off short.
Men would not allow them to go to their natural results, in the
class of questions in society. We have had raised up before us
the necessity of maintaining the Union by denying conclusions.
The most dear and sacred and animating principles of religion
have been restrained, because they would have such a bearing upon
slavery, and men felt bound to hold their peace. Our most
profound and broadly acknowledged principles of liberty have been
enunciated and passed over, without carrying them out and
applying them to society, because it would interrupt the peace of
the nation. That time is passed away; and as the result of it has
come in a joy and a perfect appetite on the part of the public.

I have been a careful observer for more than thirty-five years,
for I came into public life, I believe, about the same time with
the lady who has just sat down (Mrs. Foster), although I am not
so much worn by my labors as she seems to have been. For
thirty-five years I have observed in society its impetus checked,
and a kind of lethargy and deadness in practical ethics, arising
from fear of this prejudicial effect upon public economy. I have
noticed that in the last five years there has been a revolution
as perfect as if it had been God's resurrection in the graveyard.
The dead men are living, and the live men are thrice alive. I can
scarcely express my sense of the leap the public mind and the
public moral sense have taken within this time. The barrier is
out of the way. That which made the American mind untrue
logically to itself is smitten down by the hand of God; and there
is just at this time an immense tendency in the public mind to
carry out all principles to their legitimate conclusions, go
where they will. There never was a time when men were so
practical, and so ready to learn. I am not a farmer, but I know
that the spring comes but once in the year. When the furrow is
open is the time to put in your seed, if you would gather a
harvest in its season. Now, when the red-hot plowshare of war has
opened a furrow in this nation, is the time to put in the seed.
If any man says to me, "Why will you agitate the woman's
question, when it is the hour for the black man?" I answer, it is
the hour for every man, black or white. (Applause.) The bees go
out in the morning to gather the honey from the morning-glories.
They take it when they are open, for by ten o'clock they are
shut, and they never open again until the next crop comes. When
the public mind is open, if you have anything to say, say it. If
you have any radical principles to urge, any organizing wisdom
to make known, don't wait until quiet times come. Don't wait
until the public mind shuts up altogether.

War has opened the way for impulse to extend itself. But progress
goes by periods, by jumps and spurts. We are in the favored hour;
and if you have great principles to make known, this is the time
to advance those principles. If you can organize them into
institutions, this is the time to organize them.



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