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If you can organize them into
institutions, this is the time to organize them. I therefore say,
whatever truth is to be known for the next fifty years in this
nation let it be spoken now--let it be enforced now. The truth
that I have to urge is not that women have the right of
suffrage--not that Chinamen or Irishmen have the right of
suffrage--not that native born Yankees have the right of
suffrage--but that suffrage is the inherent right of mankind. I
say that man has the right of suffrage as I say that man has the
right to himself. For although it may not be true under the
Russian government, where the government does not rest on the
people, and although under our own government a man has not a
right to himself, except in accordance with the spirit and action
of our own institutions, yet our institutions make the government
depend on the people, and make the people depend on the
government; and no man is a full citizen, or fully competent to
take care of himself, or to defend himself, who has not all those
rights that belong to his fellows. I therefore advocate no
sectional rights, no class rights, no sex rights, but the most
universal form of right for all that live and breathe on the
continent. I do not put back the black man's emancipation; nor do
I put back for a single day or for an hour his admission. I ask
not that he should wait. I demand that this work shall be done,
not upon the ground that it is politically expedient now to
enfranchise black men; but I propose that you take expediency out
of the way, and that you put a principle that is more enduring
than expediency in the place of it--manhood and womanhood
suffrage for all. That is the question. You may just as well meet
it now as at any other time. You never will have so favorable an
occasion, so sympathetic a heart, never a public reason so
willing to be convinced as to-day. If anything is to be done for
the black man, or the black woman, or for the disfranchised
classes among the whites, let it be done, in the name of God,
while his Providence says, "Come; come all, and come welcome."

But I take wisdom from some with whom I have not always trained.
If you would get ten steps, has been the practical philosophy of
some who are not here to-day, demand twenty, and then you will
get ten. Now, even if I were to confine--as I by no means do--my
expectation to gaining the vote for the black man, I think we
should be much more likely to gain that by demanding the vote for
everybody. I remember that when I was a boy Dr. Spurzheim came to
this country to advocate phrenology, but everybody held up both
hands--"Phrenology! You must be running mad to have the idea that
phrenology can be true!" It was not long after that, mesmerism
came along; and then the people said, "Mesmerism! We can go
phrenology; there is some sense in that; but as for mesmerism--!"
Very soon spiritualism made its appearance, and then the same
people began to say, "Spiritualism! Why it is nothing but
mesmerism; we can believe in that; but as for spiritualism--!"
(Laughter.) The way to get a man to take a position is to take
one in advance of it, and then he will drop into the one you want
him to take. So that if, being crafty, I desire to catch men with
guile, and desire them to adopt suffrage for colored men, as good
a trap as I know of is to claim it for women also. Bait your trap
with the white woman, and I think you will catch the black man.
(Laughter.) I would not, certainly, have it understood that we
are standing here to advocate this universal application of the
principle merely to secure the enfranchisement of the colored
citizen. We do it in good faith. I believe it is just as easy to
carry the enfranchisement of all as the enfranchisement of any
class, and easier to carry it than carry the enfranchisement of
class after class--class after class. (Applause.)

I make this demand because I have the deepest sense of what is
before us. We have entered upon an era such as never before has
come to any nation. We are at a point in the history of the world
where we need a prophet, and have none to describe to us those
events rising in the horizon thick and fast. Sometimes it seems
to me that that Latter Day glory which the prophets dimly saw,
and which saints have ever since, with faintness of heart, longed
for and prayed for with wavering faith, is just before us. I see
the fountains of the great deep broken up. I think we are to have
a nation born in a day among us, greater in power of thought,
greater in power of conscience, greater therefore in
self-government, greater still in the power of material
development. Such thrift, such skill, such enterprise, such power
of self-sustentation I think is about to be developed, to say
nothing of the advance already made before the nations, as will
surprise even the most sanguine and far-sighted. Nevertheless,
while so much is promised, there are all the attendant evils. It
is a serious thing to bring unwashed, uncombed, untutored men,
scarcely redeemed from savagery, to the ballot-box. It is a
dangerous thing to bring the foreigner, whose whole secular
education was under the throne of the tyrant, and put his hand
upon the helm of affairs in this free nation. It is a dangerous
thing to bring men without property, or the expectation of it,
into the legislative halls to legislate upon property. It is a
dangerous thing to bring woman, unaccustomed to and undrilled in
the art of government, suddenly into the field to vote. These are
dangerous things; I admit it. But I think God says to us, "By
that danger I put every man of you under the solemn
responsibility of preparing these persons effectually for their
citizenship." Are you a rich man, afraid of your money? By that
fear you are called to educate the men who you are afraid will
vote against you. We are in a time of danger. I say to the top of
society, just as sure as you despise the bottom, you shall be
left like the oak tree that rebelled against its own
roots--better that it be struck with lightning. Take a man from
the top of society or the bottom, and if you will but give
himself to himself, give him his reason, his moral nature, and
his affections; take him with all his passions and his appetites,
and develop him, and you will find he has the same instinct for
self-government that you have. God made a man just as much to
govern himself as a pyramid to stand on its own bottom.
Self-government is a boon intended for all. This is shown in the
very organization of the human mind, with its counterbalances and
checks.... We are underpinning and undergirding society. Let us
put under it no political expediency, but the great principle of
manhood and womanhood, not merely cheating ourselves by a partial
measure, but carrying the nation forward to its great and
illustrious future, in which it will enjoy more safety, more
dignity, more sublime proportions, and a health that will know no
death. (Applause.)

HENRY C. WRIGHT said that circumstances had made Wendell Phillips
and others, leaders in the Anti-Slavery movement, as they had
made Mrs. Stanton and others leaders in this; and while they all
desired the enfranchisement of both classes, it was no more than
right that each should devote his energies to his own movement.
There need not be, and should not be any antagonism between the
two.

Miss ANTHONY said--The question is not, is this or that person
right, but what are the principles under discussion. As I
understand the difference between Abolitionists, some think this
is harvest time for the black man, and seed-sowing time for
woman. Others, with whom I agree, think we have been sowing the
seed of individual rights, the foundation idea of a republic for
the last century, and that this is the harvest time for all
citizens who pay taxes, obey the laws and are loyal to the
government. (Applause.)

Mr. REMOND said: In an hour like this I repudiate the idea of
expediency. All I ask for myself I claim for my wife and sister.
Let our action be based upon the rock of everlasting principle.
No class of citizens in this country can be deprived of the
ballot without injuring every other class. I see how equality of
suffrage in the State of New York is necessary to maintain
emancipation in South Carolina. Do not moral principles, like
water, seek a common level? Slavery in the Southern States
crushed the right of free speech in Massachusetts and made slaves
of Saxon men and women, just as the $250 qualification in the
Constitution of this State degrades and enslaves black men all
over the Union.

Mr. PILLSBURY protested against the use of the few last moments
of this meeting in these discussions. We should be now only "a
committee of ways and means," and future work should be the
business in hand. Mr. Downing presented an unnecessary issue.
Government will never ask us which should enter into citizenship
first, the woman or the colored man, or whether we prefer one to
the other. Indeed government has given the colored man the ballot
already. We are demanding suffrage equally, not unequally. Mrs.
Stanton's private opinion, be it what it may, has nothing to do
with the general question. The white voters are mostly opposed to
woman's suffrage. So will the colored men be, probably; at least
so she believes, as Mrs. Mott also suggested very strongly, and a
million or more of them added to the present opposition and
indifference, are not a slight consideration.



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