William Lloyd Garrison occupied much of the afternoon session of the Convention's first day with a harangue against the "satanic press" of New York City. He exempted only Greeley's Tribune. And he took an especially dim view of Bennett's Herald. Bennett turned Garrison's speech into a "desperate attack on the American Press." No single speech inspired the allegation of an equally desperate attack on the American People; rather, Bennett viewed rights for women as necessarily undermining American life.
WOMAN'S RIGHTS CONVENTION.
and American People.
THEIR PLUCK UP,
&c., &c. &c.
The first meeting of this Convention was held on Tuesday morning, at ten o'clock, in the Tabernacle. The attendance was not so numerous as we had expected from the novelty of the questions which were announced for discussion and the character of those who it was understood would address the meeting. Altogether there were about five hundred persons present. A little after 10 o'clock Miss Lucy Stone ascended the platform, and proceeded to organize the meeting by nominating the following officers:--
President--Mrs. Lucretia Mott
Vice Presidents--E.L. Rose, New York; Paulina W. Davis, Rhode Island; C.J.K. Nichols, Vermont; Mary Jackson, England; Catharine M. Severance, Ohio; S.M. Booth, Wisconsin; Wm. L. Garrison, Massachusetts; Mrs. J.B. Chapman, Indiana; Charlotte Hubbard, Illinois; Ruth Dugdale, Pennsylvania; C.C. Burleigh, Connecticut; Angelina G. Weld, New York; Madame Aucka [?], New York.
Business Committee—-Lucy Stone, Antoinette L. Brown, James Mott, Wendell Phillips, Sarah Hallock, Wm. H. Channing, Harriet K. Hunt, Mary Anne W. Johnson, Lydia Mott, Ruth Dugdale, Martha J. Tilden, Ernestine L. Rose, E.O. Smith.
Finance Committee—-Susan B. Anthony, Lydia A. Jenkins, Edward A. Stansbury.
Secretaries—-Mrs. L.N. Fowler, Sidney Pierce, and Oliver Johnson.
After the organization of the meeting, Rev. Wm. Henry Channing offered up a prayer; after which Mrs. Mott made a brief address, in which she laid down the platform of the convention. She spoke as follows:--The object of this convention is to set forth women's co-equality, and to show that she should be left to pursue her calling as her capacity and taste may dictate. The community are beginning already to see that there are occupations which women may fill with propriety. We know there is a generous feeling to such an extent, but when it shall be perceived that woman is beginning this enterprise, or that the advocates of woman's rights are beginning by claiming the full exercise of them for workers in the various professions that are filled now entirely by men; when it is perceived that the aim is so high, that the demand is for nothing less than for all that is enjoyed by men, just so far as woman shall show herself fit to fill these professions, then we may expect a great deal of opposition--as indeed we already meet it. We may expect abundance of ridicule, as is already made manifest in some of the public papers and periodicals; we may expect a great deal of religious protest and prejudice, for it is something so new for women to aim at the highest office, the occupancy of the pulpit. That woman must break away from the absurd notions which have prevailed relative to her. She has been taught that her voice should be drawn as fine as a cambric needle, but I advise her to give it to the people in its full force.
Miss LUCY STONE then read the following:--
1.Resolved, That this movement for the rights of women makes no attempt to decide whether women are better or worse than men, neither affirms nor denies the equality of her intellect with that of man--makes no pretence of protecting women--does not seek to oblige women any more than man is now obliged to vote, take office, labor in the professions, mingle in public life, or manage her own property.
2.Resolved, That what we do seek is to gain these rights and privileges for those women who wish to enjoy them, and so to change public opinion that it shall not be deemed indecorous for women to engage in any occupation which they deem fitted to their habits and talents.
3.Resolved, That the fundamental principle of the Woman's Rights Movement is--that every human being, without distinction of sex, has an inviolable right to the full developement [sic] and free exercise of all energies; and that in every sphere of life, private and public, functions should always be commensurate with powers.
4.Resolved, That each human being is the sole judge of his or her sphere, and entitled to choose a profession without interference from others.
5.Resolved, That whatever differences exist between man and woman, in the quality or measure of their powers, are originally designed to be and should become bonds of union and means of co-operation in the discharge of all functions, alike private and public.
6.Resolved, That the monopoly of the elective franchise, and thereby of all the powers of legislation and government by men, solely on account of the ground of sex, is a monstrous usurpation--condemned alike by reason and common sense, subversive of all the principles of justice, oppressive and demoralizing in its operations, and insulting to the dignity of human nature.
7.Resolved, That we see no force in the objection that women's taking part in politics would be a fruitful source of domestic dissension, since experience shows that she may be allowed to choose her own faith and sect without any such evil result, though religious disputes are surely as bitter as political; and, if the objection be sound, we ought to go further, and oblige a wife to forego all religious opinions, or to adopt the religious as well as the political creed of her husband.
8.Resolved, That women, like men, must be either self-supported and self-governed, or dependent and enslaved; that an unobstructed and general participation in all the branches of productive industry, and in all the business functions and offices of common life is at once their natural right, their individual interest, and their public duty; the claim and the obligation reciprocally supporting each other; that the idleness of the rich, with its attendant physical debility, moral laxity, passional [sic] intemperance and mental dissipation, and the ignorance, wretchedness and enforced profligacy of the poor, which are everywhere the curse and reproach of the sex, are the necessary results of their exclusion from those diversified employments which would otherwise furnish them with useful occupation, and reward them with its profits, honors and blessings; that this enormous wrong cries for redress, for reparation by those whose delinquency allows its continuance.
Whereas, The energies of man are always in proportion to the magnitude of the objects to be obtained; and, whereas, it requires the highest motives for the greatest exertion and noblest action. Therefore,
9. Resolved, That woman must be recognized politically, legally, socially, and religiously the equal of man, and all the obstructions to her highest physical, intellectual, and moral culture and development removed, that she may have the highest motive to assume her place in that sphere of action and usefulness which her capacities enable her to fill.
10. Resolved, That this movement gives to the cause of education a new motive and impulse; makes a vast stride toward the settlement of the question of wages and social reform; goes far to cure that wide spread plague, the licentiousness of cities; adds to civilization a new element of progress; and in all these respects commends itself as one of the greatest reforms of the age.
Mr. BURLEIGH then came forward, and addressed the meeting substantially as follows:--We anticipate in this enterprise that kind of opposition we have begun to meet. We expected that those men whose minds were not large enough to understand a principle would assail us with ridicule; we expected that even honest but unreflecting opponents would cast across our track the early prejudices of education, rather than sound reason. We knew this movement would be unpopular--that, like every change for right, it would be condemned by that cautious conservatism which dreads change. But we are aware of this truth: that the unpopularity of an enterprize is far from being an evidence of its unworthiness. We know well that what is now most popular in opinion, custom or practice, has at some period been also most unpopular. We know that the term Christian itself was once given as a title of reproach, and that in these days the men who clutch after it with such eagerness would then have been the first to deny it--they would be guided by expediency rather than the right. Our great republicans of the present day would at one time have been among the first to denounce republicanism as wrong and evil. We encounter just the same opposition which has met every step in the progress of the world. We are met by the wit and malevolence of our enemies. Witness the conduct of the daily press. Men generally use such weapons as they think they can employ with most effect; if they cannot use arguments they must have recourse to ridicule. Still, though our enterprise is exposed to the assaults of those who do not like to have us examine their right to preeminence, yet it is acknowledged that woman has some claims to equality with man. We congratulate ourselves that woman occupies a higher position here than in any other part of the world; but we should remember that it would, in the opinion of some, be a most fearful calamity to place her higher than she is, and that it would be exceedingly fanatical to improve her condition. If it was wise for America of the last century to step ahead of Europe, why should not America of the present day go ahead of herself. Yet even here, with all our boasted superiority in the condition of woman, as compared with her condition in Turkey and other countries, we are constrained to admit that even here she has something to demand, and that justice endorses her claim. The question between ourselves and the most intelligent of our opponents is as to the degree of her capacity and the rank she should occupy in contrast with man. If it be admitted that women might, without any compromise with her natural delicacy, adopt certain positions, who shall set the bound to her progress. I cannot set the limits to my sister, and say how far she shall go. When God has put into the human soul aspirations and feelings does he not intent that they shall be used? Ah, but, says our opponents, these aspirations for political rights are not general with women--it is only in individual cases that we find them. Yes, but the slaveholders also say that their slaves are content with their condition; because they are satisfied themselves they think that others are so. Only let some of these tyrants and oppressors change places with their slaves, and they will find the difference--only let men change their condition with women, and they will see the injustice that has been done her; and the difficulties under which she labors. Because a man has not, hitherto enjoyed the full blessings of liberty, it by no means follows that he should not be allowed the privileges enjoyed by others. Now, thus it is with woman; and the inquietudes which prevails among some of our most intelligent women is a proof that God intended her for a higher position than that now occupied by them, but I say, only open the doors of the harem and let her know the rights to which she is entitled, and you will see what a change will take place. They are not competent witnesses in their own case, because they do not know what rights they should have. Having shown that women ought to have more privileges, we are told that we are destroying those beautiful distinctions which God has made between the sexes, and that we blend them under the common term of "manhood." Now this is not the fact; it is because there is a feminine element in human nature that we should allow a part to the everyday affairs of life for women; the rights of woman and her sphere must be settled only by a right understanding of her nature. Man has no right to determine the proper position of woman. It requires than woman herself should be called to the council. But it is prejudices and not reason with which we have to content. We ask for woman rights, because she has a human nature, and it is unmanly to banish her from the discussion and settlement of this question.
Mr. Burleigh here resumed his seat amid mingled applause and hisses, and was succeeded by Miss Jenkens of Geneva. This lady commenced by speaking of the American Revolution in very commendable terms of praise, and then went on to show that woman was but following the example of the leaders of that Revolution in the movement in which she is now engaged. What, said she, are the liberties enjoyed by woman? Just such as her lord and master choose to allow her. We do not enjoy the rights, "the inalienable rights," spoken of in the Declaration of Independence. She must array her forces in order, and press on until she gains the victory, assured that those "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow, (Cries of "Hey," "Hey," from the gallery.) She continued by saying that the least any one of us are able to do is like a pebble on the seashore; and here she quoted a very long piece of poetry, showing what can be done by a union of small things. One woman of herself, she said, could do nothing in this great work, for it needed the aid of all, and none could refuse their co-operation. The rights of woman, she said, would never be acknowledged till she made known her wishes and sought for those rights. She proceeded at great length in the same strain.
Miss Lucy Stone appeared on the platform, and announced that she would occupy the balance of the morning hour--namely, till half past twelve o'clock; it was now twelve. Miss Stone proceeded to give a history of the women's rights' movement from the time of the first convention in central New York, five years since. She said that at that time it was averred that women were not fit for anything but to stay in the house, but we have seen, by the example of Harriet Hunt--she is here, and we shall hear from her--that women can be good physicians; they have also proved that they can be good merchants; and one lady, in Philadelphia, has made herself rich by trade and commerce. And if you say we can't be preachers, we will point to the Metropolitan Hall, last Sunday, where the Reverend Antoinette L. Brown had the largest audience in New York. (Hisses and applause.) Yes, those men hiss because they knew no better. (Laughter.) I will say to them that a number of sensible men have called Miss Brown to preach for them, and she is to be installed on the 15th of this month. She is of the strictest sex [sic; sect?] of the Orthodox. Miss Stone also said that when she made her first appearance as a public speaker many of her friends were shocked at her conduct; but only two years afterwards the principle objector took her seat as president of a temperance meeting of men and women. There is also in Chicago a cashier of a bank who is a woman, and in another State a woman is Register of Deeds; and we also have women who are capable editors of newspapers. Now, if we can do all this we demand that we shall be trusted farther. We ask upon all who think differently from us to come here and speak. We hope that if they find themselves wrong they will acknowledge it, like true men and women. We shall have five sessions more, and we have issued tickets for the five sessions at twenty-five cents each, so that the poorest serving girl can join with us. It has, also, been proposed, in business meeting, that we should limit our speeches, so that all here can have an opportunity to speak their thoughts and words.
Mr. Oliver Johnson--Mrs. President, I desire to say, relative to the limitation of speakers, that it was fixed at twenty minutes for each during the day sessions and half an hour during the evening.
Some of the ladies, who had prepared long essays, showed evident signs of dissatisfaction.
The PRESIDENT hoped that the speakers would confine themselves to the resolutions under discussion. She was glad to see that the mission of women had been so clearly and plainly stated by the last speaker. She desired to say that the idea of the leaders of this movement was not that the women should be obliged to accept the privileges which they demanded. Some women would not desire to mingle in the busy walks of life--many would have conscientious scruples relative to voting under the present constitution; but they demanded that they should have the right of co-equality. They would have this. The law might be purged of its various inconsistencies, and the public sentiment be changed. In conclusion, she hoped that there would be no long speeches, but that the discussion would be tense, pithy and pointed, and that the invitation which had been given for all persons to come upon the platform and free their minds would be accepted.
Mr. OLIVER JOHNSON--Mrs [sic] President, (hisses.) I move that the recommendation relative to the limitation of the speakers to twenty minutes in the day time and half an hour in the evening be sanctioned by the meeting.
The PRESIDENT then put the question; the motion was carried and the Bloomers adjourned to their cheap boarding houses for their noon-time meal.
The afternoon session was commenced at three o'clock, in accordance with the motion of adjournment,
Mrs. LUCRETIA MOTT called the meeting to order. The attendance was about as large as that at the morning session, the ladies predominating, as usual.
The proceedings were opened with the reading of the resolutions presented and accepted at the morning session.
WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON, of Boston, then took the floor. This gentleman commenced by asking the very pertinent question: what had brought this meeting together? And then, without any apparent cause, took a fling at Southern slaveholders. He answered his question by saying that they were assembled by the call of justice and to oppose oppression. It was a fact, he said, that men had always regarded women as inferior to themselves; but now the whole land was beginning to be convulsed with a movement against them of a satanic character. The pulpit is excited, the press is roused, the State is armed to put down a movement for justice to one half the human race. The cry of infidelity is heard on the right hand and left, arousing popular opinion in order to extinguish the movement. We have to contend with spiritual wickedness in high places. Mr. G. here launched forth into a terrible phillipic upon the press of this city and the morals of the country. The character of the press, said he, gives the state of public opinion in this country; the press symbolizes the intellectual and moral condition of this nation. And what is the character of the American press? Go where you may, in all the great cities particularly, the papers which have the largest circulation are these, almost without an exception which are the most profligate and the most diabolical; and yet they are not diabolical gratuitously, but cater to the popular appetite, understanding what is the condition of the national heart. The whole head is sick, and the heart is faint, and we are full of bruises, wounds and putrifying [sic] sores. It is not so across the Atlantic; in England, wherever a meeting is held, however ridiculous or exceptionable it may appear, it is the unvarying custom of the press, on the part of the reporters, to make a fair report of the sayings and doings of the meetings, whatever may be said editorially in condemnation. The meetings are fairly reported and the public allowed to judge themselves. How is it in this country? Is it possible to get a fair report? Read the New York papers of this morning generally, and see how they are lost to all sense of decency; how, animated by the very spirit of hell, these journals are endeavoring to have all law and order trampled under floor, and chaos brought back again. And these men come to these meeting with faces of brass, audacious to the last degree, and sit here to caricature, and blackguard, and misrepresent, as though they were doing something to earn for themselves wreaths of laurel to bind round their brows. All this is done because there is a demand for it; the nation is thoroughly rotten; we are given up, as it were, to believe a lie; and these are awful symptoms of our national degradation. How is this question to be settled by an appeal to any ecclesiastical body? Is it to be settled like any other good thing, on its own merits, just for what it is worth?
Mr. Garrison went on to lay down his platform, holding that he would deny to no person, of any sex or color, all the governmental rights which are enjoyed by any portion. It was the right of women to use political power, if it was the right of man to do so. Women had intellect enough to give a vote, if the vilest, the most profligate, and the most drunken men are allowed to do so. So with the legislature; no especial intellect was required for a legislator, and we have many men in high places who are not particularly distinguished for morality, and not over-stocked with intelligence. Only a few women would be needed, and there would be plenty left to cook all the dinners, and mend all the stockings. This is the platform you must adopt. Yours must be a struggle to the death, and you must be prepared to be abused. Show me a cause which statesmen and politicians abuse and I will show you which God and the angels love. Do you desire the compliments of such journals as the NEW YORK HERALD, the New York Times and the New York Express? If you did, you would be bad enough to take the lowest place in hell. (Hisses.) Nothing so bad, nothing so base, can be imagined from us, I hope. Let us rejoice in such manifestations, for they prove to us that our cause is just.
After relieving himself of this amount of bile, Brother Garrison sat down, evidently very much refreshed. He has been panting for this essay for some days. It was received with astonishment by some of the audience, laughter by others, and hisses by a third portion. The reporters, who were particularly attacked, treated the episode as one of those pleasant jests for which Garrison is so distinguished.
Miss Pauline W. Davis, of Providence, Rhode Island, was next introduced, and apologized for reading her address. She took her text from the eighth resolution, and reviewed the whole position of woman. She seemed to have a higher opinion of the New York papers than her friend Garrison. She said that times had changed, and women must change with them; the new inventions and improvements had taken away many women's employment, and it was only fair that she should have something to take the place of them. She demanded that women should have given to her certain light employments, such as clerking, telegraphing, daguerretyping, and copying of manuscripts. She demanded this, if nothing more. She was also strongly in favor of a new political dispensation, though she did not urge this point with as much force and acidity as did the other speakers. Her essay was very smoothly and prettily written, but it was confined to a review of the old arguments rather than the statement of any new ones. She proceeded to announce that a lady was about to start a paper in the city, and she would read an advertisement.
Mrs. MOTT--No, it is not necessary.
Mrs. DAVIS then sat down.
Mrs. MOTT--Mr. Garrison desires to make some explanations.
Mr. Garrison--I had occasion, when I addressed the meeting, to make some severe remarks in regard to certain false, foul and satanic reports of the temperance meetings which were held in this city last week, and of the anti-slavery meetings in Metropolitan Hall on Sunday. I wish simply to say that I did not intend to cast any reflection upon the reporters attending this Convention; they are strangers to me, and sufficient to the day will be the report of our proceedings at present. I judge and condemn no man in advance, and do most sincerely trust that tomorrow we shall find a fair and accurate report of what has been really said and done here today. All that we ask is, to be honestly reported, and not to be basely or foully caricatured, and will cherish the hope up till tomorrow that we shall have a fair report. And I wish to add to the number of papers a paper ludicrously called the National Democrat edited I am told by a Reverend gentleman or an ex Reverend, called the Rev. Chauncey C. Burr. As a specimen of the language used to which I have referred I will read a single paragraph:--
Time was when a full-blooded nigger meeting in New York would have been heralded with the story of "tar and feathers," but alas in these degenerate days we are called to lament merely over an uproarious disturbance. The Tribune groans horribly, it is true, because a set of deistical fanatics were interrupted in their villainous orgies; but it should rather rejoice that no harsher means were resorted to than "tufts of grass." Talk about freedom! Is any land as lost in self respect, so sunk in infamy, that God-defying, Bible abhorring sacrilege will be tacitly allowed? Because the bell-wether of the Tribune, accompanied by a phalanx of blue petticoats, is installed as the grand master of outrages, is that any reason for personal respect and public humiliation? In view of all the aggravating circumstances of the case, we congratulate the fool-hardy fanatics upon getting off as easy as they did, and we commend the forbearance of the considerate crowd in not carrying their coercive measures to extremes, because, the humbug being exploded, all that is necessary now is to laugh, hiss, and voceriously applaud. When men make up their minds to vilify the Bible, denounce the constitution, and defame their country, (although this is a free country,) they should go down in some obscure cellar, remote from mortal ken, and even there whisper their hideous treason against God and Liberty.
This, said the speaker in conclusion, is what I alluded to when I addressed you before, as a specimen of the spirit of the age, and the condition of our country.
CYRUS M. BURLEIGH here arose to bear his testimony to what Garrison said:--Our age, said he, is called a progressive age, and I suppose this extract from the National Democrat is an illustration of this progress. He told you the paper was edited by a Rev. Mr. Burr. I have had the opportunity of an acquaintance with the reverend gentleman some years ago, as a very prominent lecturer upon anti-capital punishment and anti-slavery. He then was holding the audiences of Philadelphia by the spell of his eloquence in lecturing on the enormities of slavery, and in defending the cause of the colored people in Pennsylvania. Again and again have I heard him in public meetings urging the arguments of abolitionists with the peculiar eloquence with which he was gifted. So with every other reform. In regard to the question of the rights of woman, Mr. Burr was an advocate of their rights and equality; and if he goes on in the same direction for six years to come as rapidly as he has for the past six years I shall leave to your imagination rather than attempt to describe the position he will have attained.
Mr. BOOTH, editor of the Milwaukie Free Democrat, mounted the platform, and proceeded to give an account of the state of things in Wisconsin, which he announced was a great State. Anybody there could say anything he pleased. He proceeded to relate how they broke up the mobocracy when the rowdies assaulted Mr. O S Fowler in Milwaukee, in 1849. They called a great demonstration against rum. The Mayor of the city and several others concocted a plan to get the organization of the meeting. The Mayer got into the chair, and Mr. Booth got on the communion table. Then there was a grand row, in which Mr. Booth's party was victorious. So he said he came from a great State, where women could make speeches and deliver lectures, and not a dog would wag his tongue against them. They had some old fogies, but they would soon get over that. Mr. Booth was with the Convention in opinion, and condemned the action of the Temperance Convention in relation to the Rev. Mrs. Brown.
JOHN C. CLUER, of Boston, rose in the body of the hall, and said he had come from the World's Temperance Convention, where he could not breathe freely. He thought he could breathe freer here. (Laughter and applause)
Mrs. Mott--Will Mr. Cluer take the platform?
Mr. Cluer--"Oh, yes" He then proceeded to make a humorous speech, describing the scene at Metropolitan Hall during the morning, where General Gary and Mrs. Brown had a tilt. He also eulogized Mrs. Mary Jackson, of England, who he said was also shut out from the Convention. He had heard her speak in England and Scotland twenty years ago with great success. Mr. Cluer announced that he was the agent for the Shakespeare Division Sons of Temperance, Boson, and in visiting the prisons he found that women's influence was always found effective. He proceeded to advocate woman's rights on the ground that things could certainly be no worse if the elective franchise was lodged in the hands of women. He thought that it was wrong to hiss Antoinette Brown, and that Neal Dow, who was now a great man, might have found a few words to say in defense of this lady after he had defended a woman who had whipped a man for selling her husband rum. (Hisses.) That's true, you may hiss it or not as you like.
Rev. Mr. PARKER here rose on his seat and said he desired to make an explanation. He was, he added, a little boy, who loved the truth.
The PRESIDENT invited him to the platform, but he declined, saying that perhaps too close contact might not be agreeable.
Mr. Parker then continued--All I want to do is to remove a wrong--a wrong from the minds of this assembly, in regard to the doings of the Temperance Convention this morning. I revere the gray locks of the gentleman who has spoken because they are gray; but certainly there were no hisses when the ladies stood up to speak.
A VOICE--Yes, there were hisses.
Mr. Parker--I am aware there are gentlemen who call themselves such, but I know the ladies were not hissed this morning. I know you will contradict me when I say this. But there are hundreds here who will bear witness to the truth of what I say, and the papers will do me justice when I state that they were not hissed. Another remark I desire to make. A very wrong impression had been made with regard to that honorable man to whom the nation owes so much. I am certain that Neal Dow said nothing calculated to throw the least reproach upon women. He was elected unanimously to the office of president, and performed his duties to the entire satisfaction of all. There were a few who came into the meeting determined to throw the bone of contention in our midst. There are some who may feel that he did not conduct himself as he ought in respect to the women; but I challenge any man here to prove that Neal Dow said anything, directly or indirectly, against or for the subject of women's rights. All he wanted was to restore order in the meeting.
Here the President asked the speaker what was his name? when he replied, "Mr. Parker, a little boy that loves the truth." [sic]
Dr. SNODGRASS said he remembered distinctly that there were hisses when Mrs. Brown was asking simply a question for information--namely, whether she and her sister delegates to that Convention had a right to participate in its proceedings? Before she got through the question she was assailed with hisses, and a person calling himself a gentleman called her to order. I had the pleasure of getting her heard. They had their credentials, and they would be allowed a seat, but they have no right to vote; and if they demanded to be heard they would be voted down. I have never, he continued, seen so striking an illustration of the very necessity of the work you are doing here to day.
Mr. CLUER said that he did not say Neal Dow made any allusion to women, but he blamed him because he did not defend them.
Miss STONE, who had been trying to get in a word during this discussion, expressed her regret that such a debate should take place. She hoped that it would be postponed till Mrs. Brown made her appearance at the evening session. This stopped the further discussion of the question.
After the fair Lucy had stopped this piquant episode,
Mrs. ABBY H. PRICE rose to say a few words. She confined them to a strong puff for the Una, a paper started by Mrs. Davis, advocating Women's Rights--terms, one dollar per year, in advance. Tomorrow I will go about and collect subscriptions.
Miss LUCY STONE wanted to say a word about the speech of Mrs. Davis. That lady had said, give us such employments as are open to us. Now, I would say take all these things. There are some things which men will not give us without we ask for them.
Mrs. DAVIS--I said go into the doors that were open and draw the bolts of such as were shut.
Miss STONE--I would give three cheers for that sentiment, and I am glad that I have been able to say this much to get a reiteration of Mrs. Davis' remark. It is the true doctrine. We must take all we can take, and ask for that which we cannot get by any other means, for you must all work, women, in this matter. Nothing can be accomplished without it.
Mrs. Mott said the meeting would now (half-past five o' clock.) be adjourned till half-past seven. She regretted that the afternoon debate had taken so wide a range, and hoped that speakers would hereafter confine themselves to the subject matter under discussion. She also regretted to hear so much about disturbance and hisses, and thought that if less talk was made about it there would be less of it.
After a few remarks from Mr. MOORE, of New Jersey, who said he had been excommunicated from the Society of Friends for affiliating with the Women's rights movement, the meeting
On motion of Mr. BOOTH, of Wisconsin, adjourned for two hours.
The attendance was larger than in the afternoon. The lady door keeper had become disgusted with her business, and her place was supplied by a "horrid man."
Mrs. Mott opened the meeting at half past seven, with a short speech, enjoining on the speakers the necessity of sticking to the resolutions, and not drawing into that meeting any discussion as to the actions of any other body.
HORACE GREELEY appeared and took a seat on the left of the platform.
WILLIAM H. CHANNING, of Rochester, said that if the people really believed that the women were in earnest relative to this movement, they would oppose it to much a greater extent--in the pulpit, in the press, and in the social circle, the movement would be denounced. Now this very convention shows that we are in earnest, and that we purpose to carry the movement to a practical result. The speaker said that the same crowds that greeted Jenny Lind with shouts of applause, when she sings "I know that my Redeemer liveth," hiss a strong minded woman who dares to say what the actress sings. Again, the great men of our country do not scruple to receive the products of the morning of the limbs of an Ellsler, to build up the column which depicts our struggle for liberty, yet they will not listen to a woman like Mrs. Rose, who intends to raise up a spiritual column. Again, it is not wrong for Mrs. Butler to rehearse Shakespeare on the stage, but public sentiment would condemn a modern female Shakespeare who would show them the drama of life as it is. There is also a special reason for woman's taking the stage as public speakers. They can appeal with more persuasive eloquence in pleading for any great cause. It is absurdly arrogant for any man to say that he can make such touching appeals as have emanated from this platform. (Hisses and applause.) I take it that the hisses come from those who never had a mother to respect, and who never had a sister to love, or a wife to honor. (More hisses and confusion, which soon abated, and the gentleman went on. He was frequently interrupted by hisses, and a peculiar yell which arose from the galleries.) He gave way to
Mrs. MOTT, who said, I will again request the speakers are to adhere strictly to the questions under discussion, and not be diverted from it by any demonstration, whether of approval or disapprobation. I would request that they will not answer or take notice of any such demonstration. I will now introduce to you Mrs. [sic] ANTOINETTE L. BROWN.
The lady referred to stepped upon the platform, and was received with tremendous applause. She spoke as follows--
There is a common idea that the rights of woman are antagonistic to those of man. That is a mistake, because there cannot be a conflict between them. The rights of man cannot interfere with the rights of woman. We do not wish women, in seeking for these rights, to go out of the sphere of her nature; but when women ask for what is theirs, they should not meet with such opposition. This morning I went to Metropolitan Hall, with my credentials to the World's Temperance Convention. It was with reluctance I went there. Had we known that that body was fully ready to endorse the proceedings which took place among a few members in the Brick Church, I, for one, should have felt I had too much dignity to ask there the rights which had been refused to my sister delegates. But, we did not know, they would endorse the idea, and they did not endorse it. They have taken a higher and nobler position--they are a world's temperance convention--they are ready to receive the world as delegates, as participators in their meeting, at least so far as their action this morning is concerned, it was proved to be so. I thought if these persons are not ready to recognize the whole world, their body is indeed made up of the decomposed lights of the present century, and that when you looked in the faces of those persons, you would find them turning many colors, like the rainbow. But it was not so with them. They did not change their color, but looked with some degree of steadiness. I understand that this afternoon the question arose in regard to my being hissed when I came upon the platform. Certainly there was no hissing when I went there. When we arrived at the hall, a resolution was before the body, and they had not been regularly organized. The substance of that resolution was that they should receive everybody, without distinction of color, creed, or sex. I simply asked who was the proper person to present my credentials to, and went to a person who was on the platform, and asked him was he on the Committee of Credentials. He said he was not, but would receive mine. I then gave him them, and told him I was a delegate from two societies. He said the committee are now in session upon the subject of credentials. Very soon they laid the resolution upon the table. I waited while they appointed their President, and it was said in the meanwhile that by the call of that Convention anyone who came to it as a delegate, whether man or woman, would be received. After the officers were appointed, I asked if I was received, and when I was answered in the affirmative the audience cheered. There might have been at times some hissing while I was waiting, but as ignorance is bliss, I was blissfully ignorant whether it was intended for me or others. It seemed I made myself rather conspicuous by walking across the platform so frequently, so I took my seat. Towards the close of the meeting, a motion was made that no person should be allowed to sit upon the platform except the officers. It was stated, and not denied, that this was designed to exclude the ladies from the platform. There were a few remarks made and one member said he came up to this Convention thinking he would not be annoyed by the women and the niggers. (Applause and hisses.) Several amendments were proposed to this resolution, and among other things it was proposed that none but the officers and the invited guests be allowed to sit upon the platform. This resolution was carried, and I was not allowed to take a seat on the platform afterwards.
But let us leave the temperance question, and confine ourselves to questions which may come up before us this evening. This cause is progressing. It has its opposers; but they are persons who are generally ignorant of the wrongs existing or the changes proposed. They think that we are a set of crazy reformers, who meet together to upset society, and, were it not for their curiosity, they would go down to their graves altogether ignorant of our designs. There is another set of opposers--they are bigots, whose brains are so full of their own ideas that they have no more room in their stony, narrow cells. (Hisses and applause.) But the most hopeless and splenetic of the opposers are the women who have accidentally got some influence in society. They are satisfied with their present position, and will be careful that no reform is allowed to creep in among them that may make it necessary for them to use some little mental exertion. They are more dangerous enemies than the small-pattern men who are willing that there should be sometimes a wonderful woman--a head and shoulders above her sex--like Madame de Stael. [Fine example that; the fair speaker should have selected a few more--George Sand, Mme. De Maintenon, Mme. Lafarge, or Ninon de Enelos, for instance.-–REP.] These are the only opposers that I know of, and they are melting away like the frost before the sun. The day is dawning when women shall be recognized as the equals of men in everything. (Here a storm of hisses assailed the speaker, but she paid no attention to them.) The greatest wrong done to women is to deny them their intellectual qualifications. They say our daughters ought to be educated, but only to be intellectual drones. The world will not allow her to take advantage of the information she has obtained. (Hisses and cried of "Order.") And what is woman to do? Is she to stand and see her sex crushed to the earth?
VOICES--YES! Yes! (Hisses, laughter and applause.)
Mrs. Brown--I say No! When she hears the voice of God calling upon her to go forward, I say let women forget all the conventional nonsense about her sphere. (Hisses and cries.) Let her maintain her position for her rights, and every fervent heart will say amen.
VOICES IN THE GALLERY--Time! Time! Sit down.
Miss. MOTT--Our friend is probably unaware that the time for her speech is over.
Mrs. BROWN--I had no idea I had spoken a half an hour.
W.H. CHANNING--I desire to say a word relative to a paper which is the organ of this Convention. It is called--
A VOICE--THE HERALD. (Laughter and applause.)
CHANNING--No; the Una, published by Mrs. Davis. (Applause and Laughter.)
A VOICE--How much is it?
CHANNING--One dollar a year. (More laughter, and Channing sat down.)
Mrs. ERNESTINE L. Rose, a Polish lady, who is well known to our readers, was next introduced, and delivered one of her customary onslaughts upon the English language, and abuse of our laws and institutions, in which she was frequently interrupted by hisses and confusion. She said that woman in her endeavors to reclaim her own position in society must expect to meet with opposition on every side. In every age the innovator has been obliged to pay the penalty. In Europe our movement would have been crushed by law.
Here the confusion which had interrupted Mrs. Rose several times became general, and Greeley was observed mixed up in what is called a "muss" in the gallery. He desired to put out a man who had hissed the speaker. Greeley said he had no right to do so. The man said he had paid his money, and had a right to choose whether he would hiss or applaud, and threatened to "punch" Greeley's head. Greeley was also pugnacious, but the parties were finally separated, and the meeting became comparatively quiet. Mrs. Rose then went into a long disquisition upon the law between husband and wife, when she was interrupted by many voices crying "Time!" "Time!"
Mrs. MOTT said that the people would remember that Mrs. Rose had been interrupted in the first portion of her speech, and it is only right that the time which was consumed then should be added to her half hour. (Applause and cries of "Go on.")
Mrs. ROSE pitied the people who hissed her. It had been truly remarked she believed that they had no mothers, sisters, or wives to set "dem" good examples. Such things as had happened that evening only encouraged her to go on and work harder for the cause--to work not only for the women, but for "such men as dose" (Pointed the gallery.)
There were loud cries for Greeley, but that gentleman not appearing Miss Lucy Stone was next called for [sic]
Miss STONE came forward, and spoke of the disabilities under which the laws placed woman in regard to her property and even her person. She related a story that she had heard, of a husband who was permitted by law to have such control over his wife that he might lock her up. This, she said, took place in the heart of Massachusetts. She then proceeded to speak of the limited education of girls, and said that on account of it, when they became women, they were not qualified to fill the higher stations of life: and while, said she, I am speaking on this subjection, I would beg leave to call their attention to a little tract, called "Woman and her Sphere," which is selling at a small price of six and a quarter cents. She protested against the miserable education which was given to her, and which taught her that her highest ambition was to be an embroider, or to attain perfection in petty needlework. Social equality, religious equality, is denied her, and politically, she has no rights or privileges. Our fathers would have protested against this oppression with bullets, not words; but we will protest against it with thoughts, which are more powerful than bullets. After enlarging upon this point, "Time" was called by someone in the gallery. She soon after sat down.
A man rose in the body of the meeting and amid cries of "Sit down" and Go on," managed, after considerable hesitation, to stammer out something like a challenge to the women to produce three incontrovertible arguments in favor of women's rights.
The meeting was here adjourned amid much confusion.
The speeches of these women have not been given verbatim, for the reason that the Bloomers have all the garrulity and verbosity which characterizes "scolding women." It would be useless to give the whole addresses of persons who are continually repeating the same ideas, with hardly any change in the words. One speaker yesterday repeated the same idea four times, almost in the same words.