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I
wanted a home. I had read about the beauties of a home, and
woman's appropriate sphere; and so I got a little home, and went
into it, and tried to get work. My old eyes would not see to sew
nicely, I was too feeble to wash, and so I tended the garden.
After a year had gone by I found that staying in this beautiful
home, and placing myself in woman's sphere had not brought me a
dollar to pay my bills. So setting all these theories at
defiance, I said I will go and lecture; and I went out into the
lecturing field. I have money to pay my bills to-day; but I could
not have it were I to cling to the sphere of home. If a woman is
doing the work of a good man's home, she is doing her part, and
she will not desire to go out from it for any ordinary cause. But
if she can make two dollars to his one, allowing him to carry out
his part of the appointments of life, why should not she do it?
When we can be allowed to do the thousand things that womanly
hands can do as well as those of men, we shall make our lives
useful. But take my word for it, as an old mother, with her
grandchildren gathered about her, you will not find woman
deserting the highest instincts of her nature, or leaving the
home of her husband and children.

Why do you scold us, poor weak women, for being fashionable and
dressy, when snares are set at every corner to tempt us? What
would become of your dry-goods merchants and your commerce if we
did not wear handsome dresses--if the women of this country were
to become thus sensible to-day? Your great stores on Broadway
would be closed, and your stalwart six-feet men would have to
find something else to do besides measuring tapes and ribbons.
The whole country would undergo a transformation. But it would be
better for the country. It would not take five years to pay the
national debt, interest and all, if you will apply the money
spent by men for tobacco and whisky--if men will learn to be
decent. I think it is a great deal better to wear a pretty flower
or ribbon than to smoke cigars. It is a great deal better, and
less damaging to the conscience, to wear a handsome silk dress,
than for a man to put "an enemy into his mouth to steal away his
brains."

I honestly and conscientiously believe that we ought to make the
rights of humanity equal for all classes of the community of
adult years and of sound mind. I do not ask that the girl should
vote at eighteen, but at twenty-one--the same age with the boy;
and having raised both boys and girls, I think I have a right to
say that. Give us freedom from these miserable prejudices, these
restrictions and tyrannies of society, and let us judge for
ourselves. If it is true, as science asserts, that girls inherit
more of the character of their father, while the boys follow in a
more direct line their mother, then how is it possible that women
should not have the same aspirations as men? I was born a
mechanic, and made a barrel before I was ten years old. The
cooper told my father, "Fanny made that barrel, and has done it
quicker and better than any boy I have had after six months'
training." My father looked at it and said, "What a pity that you
were not born a boy, so that you could be good for something. Run
into the house, child, and go to knitting." So I went and knit
stockings, and my father hired an apprentice boy, and paid him
two dollars a week for making barrels. Now, I was born to make
barrels, but they would not let me. Thousands of girls are born
with mechanical fingers. Thousands of girls have a muscular
development that could do the work of the world as well as men;
and there are thousands of men born to effeminacy and weakness.

Mrs. STANTON then addressed the meeting. As her line of argument
was a summary of that recently made before the Judiciary
Committee of the Legislature, and already published, it need not
here be repeated.

Miss ANTHONY announced that they would have another opportunity
to hear Sojourner Truth, and, for the information of those who
did not know, she would say that Sojourner was for forty years a
slave in this State. She is not a product of the barbarism of
South Carolina, but of the barbarism of New York, and one of her
fingers was chopped off by her cruel master in a moment of anger.

SOJOURNER TRUTH said: I have lived on through all that has taken
place these forty years in the anti-slavery cause, and I have
plead with all the force I had that the day might come that the
colored people might own their soul and body. Well, the day has
come, although it came through blood. It makes no difference how
it came--it did come. (Applause). I am sorry it came in that way.
We are now trying for liberty that requires no blood--that women
shall have their rights--not rights from you. Give them what
belongs to them; they ask it kindly too. (Laughter). I ask it
kindly. Now I want it done very quick. It can be done in a few
years. How good it would be. I would like to go up to the polls
myself. (Laughter). I own a little house in Battle Creek,
Michigan. Well, every year I got a tax to pay. Taxes, you see, be
taxes. Well, a road tax sounds large. Road tax, school tax, and
all these things. Well, there was women there that had a house as
well as I. They taxed them to build a road, and they went on the
road and worked. It took 'em a good while to get a stump up.
(Laughter). Now, that shows that women can work. If they can dig
up stumps they can vote. (Laughter). It is easier to vote than
dig stumps. (Laughter). It doesn't seem hard work to vote, though
I have seen some men that had a hard time of it. (Laughter). But
I believe that when women can vote there won't be so many men
that have a rough time gettin' to the polls. (Great laughter).
There is danger of their life sometimes. I guess many have seen
it in this city. I lived fourteen years in this city. I don't
want to take up time, but I calculate to live. Now, if you want
me to get out of the world, you had better get the women votin'
soon. (Laughter). I shan't go till I can do that.

CHARLES LENOX REMOND said: It requires a rash man to rise at this
stage of the meeting, with the hope of detaining the audience
even for a few moments. But in response to your call I rise to
add my humble word to the many eloquent words already uttered in
favor of universal suffrage. The present moment is one of no
ordinary interest. Since this platform is the only place in this
country where the whole question of human rights may now be
considered, it seemed to me fitting that the right of the colored
man to a vote should have a place at the close of the meeting;
and especially in this State, since the men who are to compose
the Convention called for the amendment of the Constitution of
this State, will, within a few short weeks, pass either favorably
or unfavorably upon that subject. I remember that Henry B.
Stanton once said at a foreign Court, "Let it be understood that
I come from a country where every man is a sovereign." At that
time the language of our friend was but a glittering generality,
for there were very many who could not be styled sovereigns in
any sense of the term. But I desire that the remark of Mr.
Stanton shall be verified in the State of New York this very
year. I demand that you so amend your Constitution as to
recognize the equality of the black man at the ballot box, at
least until he shall have proved himself a detriment to the
interests and welfare of our common country. It is no novelty
that two colored men were members of the last Legislature of
Massachusetts; for more than forty years ago a black man was a
member of the Massachusetts Legislature. People seem to have
forgotten our past history. The first blood shed in the
Revolutionary war ran from the veins of a black man; and it is
remarkable that the first blood shed in the recent rebellion also
ran from the veins of a black man. What does it mean, that black
men, first and foremost in the defense of the American nation and
in devotion to the country, are to-day disfranchised in the State
of Alexander Hamilton and John Jay?

These were the last conventions ever held in "the Church of the
Puritans," as it soon passed into other hands, and not one stone was
left upon another; not even an odor of sanctity about the old familiar
corner where so much grand work had been done for humanity. The
building is gone, the congregation scattered, but the name of George
B. Cheever, so long the honored pastor, will not soon be
forgotten.[74]

At the close of the Convention a memorial[75] to Congress was
prepared, and signed by the officers of the Convention.

In a letter to the _National Anti-Slavery Standard_, dated Concord,
April 20, 1867, Parker Pillsbury, under the title, "The Face of the
Sky," says:

I have just read in the papers of last week what follows:

Mr. Phillips, in the _Anti-Slavery Standard_ says: "All our duty
is to press constantly on the nation the absolute need of three
things. 1st. The exercise of the whole police power of the
government while the seeds of republicanism get planted. 2d. The
Constitutional Amendment securing universal suffrage in spite of
all State Legislation. 3d. A Constitutional Amendment authorizing
Congress to establish common schools, etc. To these necessaries,"
Mr. Phillips adds, "we must educate the public mind."

Mr. Greeley in the _Tribune_ says: "We are most anxious that our
present State Constitution shall be so amended as to secure
prompt justice through the courts, preclude legislative and
municipal corruption, and secure responsibility by concentrating
executive power." Through the approaching Constitutional
Convention, he says the people "can secure justice through
reformed courts, fix responsibility for abuses of executive
power;--in short, they can increase the value of property and the
reward of honest labor."

Mr.



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