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Stanton and Miss Susan B. Anthony turned their
attention to the establishment in the city of New York of a woman
suffrage paper, called _The Revolution_.[91] The funds for this
enterprise were provided by two Democrats, David Melliss, the
financial editor of the _World_, and George Francis Train. The editors
were Parker Pillsbury and Elizabeth Cady Stanton; the owner and
publisher, Susan B. Anthony. This affiliation with Mr. Train and other
Democrats, together with the aggressive tone of _The Revolution_,
called down on Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton severe criticism from
some of their friends, while they received sincere praise from others.
In reviewing the situation, they have had no reason to regret their
course, feeling that their determination to push their cause, and
accept help from whatever quarter it was proffered, aroused lukewarm
friends to action, who, though hostile at first to the help of
Democrats, soon came to appreciate the difficulty of carrying on a
movement with the press, pulpit, politicians, and philanthropists all
in the opposition.

Abolitionists were severe in their denunciations against these ladies,
because, while belonging to anti-slavery associations, they affiliated
with the bitter enemies of the negro and all his defamers. To which
they replied: "So long as opposition to slavery is the only test for a
free pass to your platform and membership of your association, and you
do not shut out all persons opposed to woman suffrage, why should we
not accept all in favor of woman suffrage to our platform and
association, even though they be rabid pro-slavery Democrats? Your
test of faithfulness is the negro, ours is the woman; the broadest
platform, to which no party has as yet risen, is humanity." Reformers
can be as bigoted and sectarian and as ready to malign each other, as
the Church in its darkest periods has been to persecute its
dissenters.

So utterly had the women been deserted in the Kansas campaign by those
they had the strongest reason to look to for help, that at times all
effort seemed hopeless. The editors of the New York _Tribune_ and the
_Independent_ can never know how wistfully, from day to day, their
papers were searched for some inspiring editorials on the woman's
amendment, but naught was there; there were no words of hope and
encouragement, no eloquent letters from an Eastern man that could be
read to the people; all were silent. Yet these two papers, extensively
taken all over Kansas, had they been as true to woman as to the negro,
could have revolutionized the State. But with arms folded, Greeley,
Curtis, Tilton, Beecher, Higginson, Phillips, Garrison, Frederick
Douglass, all calmly watched the struggle from afar, and when defeat
came to both propositions, no consoling words were offered for woman's
loss, but the women who spoke in the campaign were reproached for
having "killed negro suffrage."

[Illustration: Olympia Brown.]

We wondered then at the general indifference to that first opportunity
of realizing what all those gentlemen had advocated so long; and, in
looking back over the many intervening years, we still wonder at the
stolid incapacity of all men to understand that woman feels the
invidious distinctions of sex exactly as the black man does those of
color, or the white man the more transient distinctions of wealth,
family, position, place, and power; that she feels as keenly as man
the injustice of disfranchisement. Of the old abolitionists who stood
true to woman's cause in this crisis, Robert Purvis, Parker Pillsbury,
and Rev. Samuel J. May were the only Eastern men. Through all the hot
debates during the period of reconstruction, again and again, Mr.
Purvis arose and declared, that he would rather his son should never
be enfranchised, unless his daughter could be also, that, as she bore
the double curse of sex and color, on every principle of justice she
should first be protected. These were the only men who felt and
understood as women themselves do the degradation of disfranchisement.

Twenty years ago, as now, the Gibraltar of our difficulties was the
impossibility of making the best men feel that woman is aggravated by
the endless petty distinctions because of sex, precisely as the most
cultivated man, black or white, suffers the distinctions of color,
wealth, or position. Take a man of superior endowments, once powerful
and respected, who through unfortunate circumstances is impoverished
and neglected; he sees small men, unscrupulous, hard, grinding men
taking places of trust and influence, making palace homes for
themselves and children, while his family in shabby attire are
ostracised in the circle where by ancestry and intelligence they
belong, made to feel on all occasions the impassable gulf that lies
between riches and poverty. That man feels for himself and doubly for
his children the humiliation. And yet with the ever-turning wheel of
fortune such distinctions are transient; yours to-day, mine
to-morrow. That glorious Scotch poet, Robert Burns, from the depths of
his poverty and despair, might exclaim in an inspired moment on the
divine heights where the human soul can sometimes mount:

"A man's a man for a' that."

But the wail through many of his sad lines shows that he had tasted
the very dregs of the cup of poverty, and hated all distinctions based
on wealth.

When a colored man of education and wealth like Robert Purvis, of
Philadelphia, surrounded with a family of cultivated sons and
daughters, was denied all social communion with his neighbors, equal
freedom and opportunity for himself and children, in public
amusements, churches, schools, and means of travel because of race, he
felt the degradation of color. The poor white man might have said, If
I were Robert Purvis, with a good bank account, and could live in my
own house, ride in my own carriage, and have my children well fed and
clothed, I should not care if we were all as black as the ace of
spades. But he had never tried the humiliation of color, and could not
understand its peculiar aggravations, as he did those of poverty. It
is impossible for one class to appreciate the wrongs of another. The
coarser forms of slavery all can see and deplore, but the subjections
of the spirit, few either comprehend or appreciate. In our day women
carrying heavy burdens on their shoulders while men walk by their side
smoking their pipes, or women harnessed to plows and carts with cows
and dogs while men drive, are sights which need no eloquent appeals to
move American men to pity and indignation. But the subtle humiliations
of women possessed of wealth, education, and genius, men on the same
plane can not see or feel, and yet can any misery be more real than
invidious distinctions on the ground of sex in the laws and
constitution, in the political, religious, and moral position of those
who in nature stand the peers of each other? And not only do such
women suffer these ever-recurring indignities in daily life, but the
literature of the world proclaims their inferiority and divinely
decreed subjection in all history, sacred and profane, in science,
philosophy, poetry, and song.

And here is the secret of the infinite sadness of women of genius; of
their dissatisfaction with life, in exact proportion to their
development. A woman who occupies the same realm of thought with man,
who can explore with him the depths of science, comprehend the steps
of progress through the long past and prophesy those of the momentous
future, must ever be surprised and aggravated with his assumptions of
headship and superiority, a superiority she never concedes, an
authority she utterly repudiates. Words can not describe the
indignation, the humiliation a proud woman feels for her sex in
disfranchisement.

In a republic where all are declared equal an ostracised class of one
half of the people, on the ground of a distinction founded in nature,
is an anomalous position, as harassing to its victims as it is unjust,
and as contradictory as it is unsafe to the fundamental principles of
a free government. When we remember that out of this degraded
political status, spring all the special wrongs that have blocked
woman's success in the world of work, and degraded her labor
everywhere to one half its value; closed to her the college doors and
all opportunities for higher education, forbade her to practice in the
professions, made her a cipher in the church, and her sex, her
motherhood a curse in all religions; her subjection a text for bibles,
a target for the priesthood; seeing all this, we wonder now as then at
the indifference and injustice of our best men when the first
opportunity offered in which the women of any State might have secured
their enfranchisement.

It was not from ignorance of the unequal laws, and false public
sentiment against woman, that our best men stood silent in this Kansas
campaign; it was not from lack of chivalry that they thundered forth
no protests, when they saw noble women, who had been foremost in every
reform, hounded through the State by foul mouthed politicians; it was
not from lack of money and power, of eloquence of pen and tongue, nor
of an intellectual conviction that our cause was just, that they came
not to the rescue, but because in their heart of hearts they did not
grasp the imperative necessity of woman's demand for that protection
which the ballot alone can give; they did not feel for _her_ the
degradation of disfranchisement.

The fact of their silence deeply grieved us, but the philosophy of
their indifference we thoroughly comprehended for the first time and
saw as never before, that only from woman's standpoint could the
battle be successfully fought, and victory secured. "It is wonderful,"
says Swift, "with what patience some folks can endure the sufferings
of others." Our liberal men counseled us to silence during the war,
and we were silent on our own wrongs; they counseled us again to
silence in Kansas and New York, lest we should defeat "negro
suffrage," and threatened if we were not, we might fight the battle
alone. We chose the latter, and were defeated.



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