As a friend of woman's rights, Greeley gave the Convention full and sympathetic coverage. The Tribune's account of the events differs little from those of the rival Times and Herald. But, while Bennett's editorial prior to the second day of the meeting came close to suggesting that opponents disrupt the Convention (See Document 21I), Greeley treated the doings of the "rowdies" with indignation.
WOMAN'S RIGHTS CONVENTION
Meeting at the Tabernacle
Meeting at the Tabernacle
The Convention was organized yesterday morning at a little after 10 o'clock, at which hour the building was occupied by an audience of about 1,500 persons, I compose about equally of men and women.
Miss LUCY STONE came forward and read the minutes of a preliminary meeting held on Monday evening, at which the following officers were initiated:
Ernestine L. Rose, N.Y.
Wm Lloyd Garrison, Mass.
Paulina W. Davis, R.I.
Ms. J.B. Chapman, Indiana
C.I.H. Nichols, Vt.
Charlotte Sheppard, Illinois
Mary Jackson, England
Ruth Dugdale, Penn.
Catharine M. Severance, O.C.
C. Burleigh, Ct.
S.M. Booth, Wisconsin
Angelina G. Weld, N.J.
Lydia F. Fowler
Business Committee.—Lucy Stone, Antoinette L. Brown, James Mott, Wendell Phillips, Sarah Hallock, Wm. H. Channing, Harriet K. Hunt, Marianne W. Johnson, Lydia Mott, Ruth Dugdale, Martha j. Tilden, Ernestine L. Rose, Elizabeth Oakes Smith.
Finance Committee.—Susan B. Anthony, Lydia A. Jenkins, Edward A. Stansbury.
Mr. Johnson expressed his wish to have his name supplied by that of Mrs. Jenkins, of Geneva: but Mrs. Mott suggested that the principles of the Convention would be better represented by having a man among the Secretaries as the women did not desire to divorce the men. Mr. Johnson complied with the suggestion.
Mrs. Mott said that the Convention was to be opened with prayer, or some religious service, which might be either oral or mental prayer, or a discourse.
Rev. W. H. Channing offered a prayer.
The President announced that the Preliminary Committee had recommended that there be three session each day of the Convention, one at 10 A. M. one at 3 P.m., and one as 7 ½ P.M.; the fist to end at 12 ½ P.M., the second at 5 P.M. and the third at 9 ½ P.M. Put to the vote and passed.
Mrs. Mott addressed the house thus: This is a Convention for declaring a principle, not for going into details. The principle is the co-equality of women with man, and her right to practice those arts of life for which she is ? by the delicacy of her hand and the feebleness of her mind. We have been ridiculed by some of the Press and by some periodicals. We have ever met opposition in religious ?, which is not to be wondered at, as women aims as the highest office, that of the pulpit from which the prejudice of centuries has shut her out. Woman's voice has been compared to a cambric needle; it is called too fine to be heard in public assemblies; but here I trust it shall be used as to heard in every part of this house.
Miss LUCY STONE read the following resolutions prepared by the preliminary meeting, and offered them to the Convention for acceptance. It was moved, and voted by the house, that they should be open for discussion as a whole.
1. Resolved, That this movement for the rights of women makes no attempt to decide whether woman is better or worse than man, neither affirms nor denies the equality of her intellect with that of man—makes no pretence of protecting woman—does not seek to oblige woman 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 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 development 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 cooperation 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 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 woman'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 end 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 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 motive 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 forms of the age.
Mr. C. C. Burleigh addressed the Convention to this effect: The principle we advocate has met a not unexpected opposition; it is natural for even the good to oppose what is new; but even their opposition does not show the badness of the principle. The introduction of Christianity is an instance—that faith which recognizes neither bond nor free, barbarian nor Scythian, male nor female. As to the ridicule which a portion of the New York press seeks to cast on the movement, not only malevolence, but wit, too, is needed for successful ridicule; and the wit being here very scarce, the ridicule is ineffectual, and leaves only the malevolence exposed. If our fathers took a step in advance of Europe, shall not we take a step in advance of our fathers? The question of Woman's Rights is only one of degree. Even our opponents admit that woman has not the reward of her labor. Should not woman, the most interested, have a voice in the solution of the question? Did God give woman aspirations which it is a sin for her to gratify? It is objected that the aspiration we seek to gratify is not natural, but morbid; that slaves are contented, and only a turbulent Kossuth or Mazzini is discontented. But, even though women generally be satisfied with their present sphere, as it is called, the dissatisfaction of the most cultivated of the sex shows the unjust and unnatural conditions of that sphere. In the harem women are happy; they know no better life than what which their laws permit them; but is their contentment to be taken as an argument that the life led by American women is not more in accordance with reason and religion! No! People in this country will persist in believing that the humblest among them is more favored than the Sultana herself. These poor Easterns are not competent witnesses; open their doors and they will never return. Thus, even if women do not know their full rights, let them know them, and they will never be content without them. Our opponents say we are for breaking down the partition wall erected by nature between the sexes. No—each sex understands only itself; man knows woman only by hearing, and woman can never be truly represented except by women. We claim for woman simply the right to decide her own sphere.
Mrs. Jenkins, of Geneva, spoke next. She adverted to the sufferings which man and women have borne for liberty; to the story of the American revolution, in the anniversaries of which the rights of men are so paraded, while women are only allowed to remain in the world, and have just as much freedom as their so-called lord permits them. A demand for the rights of women will be useless without corresponding action. Let men aid us in removing the obstacles themselves have placed in our way; we ask no more from them. We ask no propping up of tottering systems, but that principles be established, and the systems will adjust themselves. It is said women are already represented through men, and that they may represent themselves by the pen; but we demand the recognition of much broader principles. There is no more beautiful assurance than that man's ideal of himself can be attained. Perhaps in the halls of Congress woman could not use the fist or the bowie knife so well as men have done, but she might equal men in the acts which are there in place.
With some remarks on the beauty and necessity of equal social intercourse, the speaker concluded.
Miss Lucy Stone said that she had now time only to offer a few remarks, and would probably speak more fully before the Convention broke up. We may, she continued, congratulate ourselves on our progress. Five years ago we had a meeting of a handful of persons in Central New York, and scarcely any one heard of it. It was presided over by Mrs. Mott. [Mrs. Mott corrected; it was presided over by her husband. At that time women did not go so far as to think of presiding over meetings.] Miss Stone—That also shows our progress. We now see that woman can fill the chair, and well. I look over the past five years, and find many arguments supplied to us in that time. We have now authority. It was said women could not be doctors. Well, Harriet Hunt was proved by practice that a woman can be, and is, a successful physician. You have now two women in your City who are able medical practitioners. We have Medical Female Colleges with classes. Thus one point is gained. We could not be merchants! I know a woman in Lowell who is a successful merchant. Mrs. Tindal has for many years conducted a shoe-store there, and grown rich by her trade. In the Ministry we are also represented. The sermon of Antoinette Brown, at Metropolitan Hall, is enough to show that. [A hiss.] Some men hiss whose mothers taught them no better; but there are men in New York who know they can hear the words of God from a woman as well as from a man, and they have called her to be their minister, and she is to be ordained this month. Some of the reporters stated she was a Unitarian, but she is orthodox as the best, and so is her Church. We have also more fully than before established woman's right to address an audience. I have spoken in an assembly of men without announcing my intention and when I came from the platform a lady said to me, "My blood ran cold to see you." "Why?" I asked, "were they not good men I was among?" "Oh, yes, my husband was one of them, but it was terrible." Last fall (that is six or seven years after) the same woman was chosen to preside over a meeting of men and women in Columbus, Ohio, and she took the Chair without objection. In Chicago a woman is cashier of a Bank. Two editors of papers (women) set near me.
The race, more than individuals, will be benefited by the development we claim. We want on this platform not only those who with us, but those who dissent; we will hear their reasons; but if we take all reason from under their feet we want them to own it. We have five more sessions, a ticket for all is 25 cents, so that the poorest workwoman in New York can hear us. Each session is 12 ½ cents. This is to meet avoidable expenses.
It was suggested that each speaker should be limited to twenty minutes or half an hour. (Mr. Johnson explained that during the day twenty minutes, and in the evening half an hour, was limited time.)
Miss Stone—Mr. Johnson is correct.
The President asked speakers to bear in mind the resolutions and speak as closely to them as possible.
Mr. Johnson moved that the limit of speakers as to time be passed by the Convention, which was done, and the Convention adjourned to 3 P.M.
The Afternoon Session commenced at 3 ½ o'clock. Notwithstanding the excessively heated state of the atmosphere there was a good attendance. Nearly two-thirds of the assemblies were ladies. Mrs. Lucretia Mott presided. On the platform and in the audience we observed Mrs. Nichols, Miss Lucy Stone, Mrs. Bloomer, Mrs. Davis, Rev. Mr. Pierpont, Mr. Booth, &c. &c.
A lady officiated as the door keeper.
Wm. LLOYD GARRISON was the first speaker: Although glad, in view of the earnest spirit asserted, he said, that the Committee had resolved to continue each speaker to 20 minutes, it was utterly impossible to begin and complete an argument on the important question which had brought us together, in so brief a period of time. What had brought us together form the East, West, North, and, he was going to add, South—but in the South the spirit of Slavery seemed to have destroyed the spirit which was required for the advocacy of the principles of Justice, of Truth, or Human Rights.
This question of Woman's Rights was a world question, and as old as the human race. In all ages, woman has been regarded by the man as an inferior, and had been robbed of the rights with which God had endowed her, in common with every human being.
But woman had been aroused. What would be the result? The land was convulsed; the opposition to this movement was assuming a malignant, a Satanic character. The pulpit and the press, the Church and the State had arrayed themselves to extinguish a movement in behalf of justice to one half of the human race. The Bible had been used by pulpit interpreters to aid the cause of the foes of human race—of justice. Infidelity had been charged on us in order that public sentiment might be arrayed against our cause. There was nothing strange in all this. We were passing a world crisis; we were merely abused as all reformers of all ages had been abused. At first all are accused of irreligion.
He had spoken of the Press. The Press of this country represented the state of public opinion, the symbol of the moral and intellectual and moral condition of the nation. What is the character of the American Press? Go where you will in all great cities and you will find that as a general rule, the papers which have the largest circulation are those which are the most diabolical and the most profligate in spirit and in purpose. Not gratuitously but catering to the popular appetite from a profound understanding of the condition of the national heart, which, alas, is full of wounds and bruises and spiritual sores. In England it was otherwise. In the Old Country, whenever a meeting was held for any cause, however extraordinary and exceptionable, it was invariably the custom of the Press to make a fair report of its saying and doings. Whatever may be said editorially in condemnation of the meeting it is fairly reported, and the public left to judge for themselves. That the opposite principle is acted on in this City an examination if the majority of the New York papers of this morning would prove. If was not too much to say that they were animated by the spirit of hell. He wondered that men with brows of brass, unmatched in impudence, could come here and give such blackguard misrepresentations, as if by doing so they were doing a work which would entitle them to a laurel wreath. Such kind of reports were given day after day because there was a demand for them; because the nation, as it were, is thoroughly rotten, given and over to believe a lie. This was an awful symptom of national degradation.
How was this question of Woman's Rights to be settled? Like every other holy question—on its own merits. He had been called a Women's Rights man; he claimed to be a Human Rights man. Whatever is a Human Right, belongs to every Human Right being, whatever may be the sex or color. Whoever would deny to grant a right which he exercised, to a woman, was either a ruffian or tyrant. He urged American women not to be discouraged; let them bide their time and victory would crown their exertions.
The question of Woman's Rights was a governmental question. Our Government, by endorsing the Declaration of Independence—which declared that all governments derived their just power from the consent of the governed—had conceded the justice of their claims. Women in our country were not represented—therefore, unless Government granted Women's Rights, and thereby carried the maxim alluded to into practice, it should be overturned.
It was ridiculous for an American to deny that women were incapable of exercising the elective franchise. What did the laws require of an elector? Not physical strength, nor moral worth, nor great intellect—for men who possessed none of these qualities possessed the power of giving votes. Equally ridiculous was it to deny that women were incapable of enacting national laws. What was required of a legislator? Not more intellect, not a clearer conscience nor a purer heart than women had proved themselves to process.
The foolish argument that if women were possessed of political prerogatives, there would be none to attend to the duties of domestic life and to the education of children, he effectually demolished by asking how many women would be required for legislation? How many men were at present in the halls of our legislation houses? Could we not spare one woman out of a city of several thousands?
The first and highest thing to be contended for was the giving the elective franchise to women. That granted all other rights would follow.
The greatest proof that this cause was one in which God and angels and good men delighted in was to be found in the characters of its foes. What did its friends want? Those who cared for the plaudits of such satanic journals as The N.Y. Times, The Express, and The Herald, were unworthy of the engaging in this work. The reports of those journals were made in the most brutal, cowardly and devilish spirit [Great hisses and applause.] After some further remarks the speaker concluded.
Mrs. Pauline W. Davis, said that the "Woman's Movement," although hardly five years old, had already become a world's movement; that there was no speech nor language in which its voice was not now heard. All that could have been hoped from discussion in so long a period had been realized. The criticism of first impressions had already been exhausted: the stage of serious investigation had fairly set in.
Although we were not yet done with discussion, the parallel line of action now pressingly invited our attention. She contended that before all questions of intellectual training or political franchise for women, the question of enlarged opportunities for work, of a more extended and diversified field of employment was to be placed. Without stopping to settle the relative value of the different lines of action which one cause demands, or admitting any prominence among them, it was her purpose to offer some thoughts, both to those within and to those without the movement, upon the justice and necessity of industrial liberty and enlargement for women.
The abstract justice of the demand that all business and professional avocations of which women are in any wise capable should be freely opened to them, seemed to her self-evident. For, nothing could be clearer than that wherever faculty is given, its employment is warranted. Free use is the character written by the finger of God upon every power conferred upon His rational creatures. Arguments drawn from inconvenience, impropriety, &c., against the exercise of these powers, are in fact arguments against the institutions of artificial systems and the prejudices of society which forbade their exercise. For anathemas against the economy of an order of which God is the author, is simply blasphemy.
She then made a rapid review of the social condition of woman from the semi-barbarous ages to the present time. She showed that one by one the ancient occupations of women had been seized on by men.
Here, then, she continued, we stand, amid the ruins which years have wrought and cry for redress. We ask that the avocations which progress and improvement have substituted for all that we have lost be fairly opened to us. . . . You have taken away all that was ours in the old times; give us, therefore, the position which belongs to us in the new. In the days of Solomon we bought wool and flax and manufactured them into cloth, and our husbands had need of no other spoil than our industry a supplied. You have swallowed up a thousand household workshops in every great factory, and we demand our place at the power loom, with ages up to the value work. We reclaim also, our right of merchandise and its profits as of yore.
In the middle ages we practiced surgery, medicine, and obstetrics. The healing art is ours by prescription. Restore it to us.
In the middle ages, copying manuscripts was a professions providing employment for thousands of women. Give us our place at the press that has displaced the lost art.
For the ruder labor which we have been taken and from which the world is now forever delivered, give us the free use of these arts of modern birth to which we are so much better adapted than the usurping sex. Dentistry, daguerreotyping, designing, telegraphing, clerking in recording offices, post offices, and a thousand other engagements, which ask neither larger bones nor stronger sinews, and which touch neither the delicacy nor the retirement that you harp upon, as the propriety of our sex. Ah! Surrender these to us, or, at least, open them fairly to our even handed competition. The sovereignty of free citizen, even in this republic, is denied to us; but of this I do not now speak, for it is not within the range of the present subject. I am now urging only our just claim to the privileges and facilities for earnest and useful recompensing and self-supporting work. Add not the unblushing selfishness of a refusal of this to the insincere considerateness that you profess in despoiling us our inherent right of self-government. Your Anglo-Saxon common law—the glory of modern freedom—took away our legal existence, merging it in that of our husbands when we have any to absorb our property and receive our earnings, and suspending the civil rights of maidenhood and widowhood when we have none. Your arts and sciences have taken away that which supplied our animal existence and gave us position and power in the community, and now are we not justified at least in demanding useful occupations and the blessings which belong to them? The civil subjection of the past was bad enough, but it was instigated by our social, domestic, and industrial consequence. All this is gone, or going, and you offer us only the chance of genteel pauperism and dependence, under pretty names, that do not even conceal your own contempt, much less our shame. Such considerations are these, and their like, we would address to those who resist us with reasoning against reason, right and truth.
But there is instruction for ourselves and direction invaluable for own use, in the facts of our past and present condition. History teaches us something in this wise: The masses of our modern societies have been emancipated from serfdom by the power that there is in usefulness, and the inherent force that there is in available capability.
Liberty was seldom achieved by victory in arms, but it is always acquired by the might of arms in useful industry. She asked the chosen and called to begin the enterprise; let them select the points of attack, address themselves to the task, and they will carry them by the peaceable force of all-conquering industry.
The occupations, she said, now generally accorded to woman are essentially menial in their character. Woman must endeavor to establish her personal independence. In professional authorship woman had accomplished wonders already. In the practice of Medicine, although the first female diploma was not yet five years old, the way had been opened and was widening every day. Prejudice always goes down without an argument before success. She concluded by saying that woman must take up the Bread question, and solve the problem of industrial independence by extending and enriching the varieties of work that woman shall do in this busy world, and so carry on their personal emancipation while their civil and social enfranchisement makes its way in the sentiments of men. In a word, we must buy ourselves out of bondage and work our way into Liberty and honor. For just as long as the world stands, its government will go with its cares, services, and responsibilities. Children and women, till they can keep themselves, will be kept in pupilage by the same powers which support them.
Wm. Lloyd Garrison again came forward and said: I wish to say a few words in respect to the allusions I made just now with reference to the Satanic Press. I desire to say that I did not include the reporters in any observations I made. I know none of these gentlemen. I am not acquainted with their position, intentions or motives. I spoke, as I had reason to speak, in terms of merited censure, on the false, foul and malignant reports given of the Whole World's Convention, and also of the Anti-Slavery meeting at Metropolitan Hall on Sunday night. They were diabolical, devilish in the extreme, and deserve the strongest reprobation. I desire to say nothing of the reporters; we will judge them by the reports they give of our meeting here, and until then I do not desire to condemn them. I wish to add another paper to the list of papers which I designated as the Satanic Press, and which outstrips all of the others in its frenzied malignity against this movement. I refer to a paper which is most strangely misnamed and called The National Democrat, edited by a clergyman, a Reverend or ex-Reverend Chauncey C. Burr.
[The speaker read an extract from The Democrat which produced a shower of hisses and some laughter.]
Cyrus C. Burleigh then came forward and said, I wish to say a few words on the subject just referred to. Indeed, it has been said, and I believe with truth, to be a progressive age, and a strong illustration is afforded in the career of the Editor of The National Democrat of that progress. We have been told that Rev. Mr. Burr is the Editor of that paper. I had the honor of his acquaintance some six years since when he traveled round about as an Anti-Slavery, Anti-Capital- Punishment lecturer. I have seen audiences in Philadelphia listen him with attention while he defended the rights of Humanity and enforced the rights of equality for the colored race with the whites, in every position, social, moral, and political. Again and again have I seen this thing occur[;] the Woman's Rights reform seemed to be a favorite theme with him, for he professed to pay to woman a sincere homage and admiring devotion. But, however, this is as I said, an age of progress, and if the Editor of that paper progresses as much for six years to come as he seems to have progressed for the past six years, I will leave it to you to imagine, for I cannot even conceive the high state of perfection he will by that time have attained. [Cheers]
Mrs. Mott said she thought it the better way to say nothing respecting the newspaper till the sitting of the Conventions should have ended, and then all would be able to form a just opinion how they had acted—whether fairly and justly or otherwise.
Mr. S. M. Booth, or Wis., was then introduced. He said: I have come here to be a listener, and did not intend to have taken any part in your Convention. It is time that something should be done to equalize the position of man and woman. As a journalist, I have done all in my power to promote that equalization, and have always defended the right of woman to choose such occupation as she considered best suited to her, and pleased her best. I came here to tell you how we manage things in Wisconsin. In 1840, now but thirteen years since, that was a wild and unbroken country, but it is now well cultivated, and contains over 40,000 inhabitants.
I want to state to you how we broke down Mobocracy in that State. In the 1849 we got a stringent Temperance law enacted there, by which any person—either the wife, child, brother or father of the drunkard, could recover damages from the rum seller who had sold any person liquor by which he had received any injury. The Senator who resided at Milwaukee was very prominent of his advocacy of this measure, and in getting it passed into a law. O.S. Fowler, of your City, came on there to deliver a lecture, and while he and his wife and family were attending the lecture, the rum interest raised a mob and went to his house, attacked it, broke the windows and nearly demolished the building.
The Temperance men and women of the city called a meeting, and they selected five women from each Ward to go around to solicit signatures for a call for an indignation meeting, which was at the same time to be a Temperance demonstration. We have five Wards there, and twenty-five ladies got a large numbers of signatures. Among the rest they called on Mr. Upham, who was then Mayor, but he refused to sign. He was determined to prevent the meeting being held if he could; and he and the then District Attorney went to the meeting half an hour before the time appointed for taking the chair, and, backed by the Rum interest, they expected to carry everything their own way. I was there before them; and when the District Attorney proposed the Mayor should take the Chair I opposed it, and A.D. Holton coming in at the time I proposed him for Chairman. The Mayor, although he had not more than one third of the vote of the meeting, declared he was appointed Chairman; and so he occupied one side of the pulpit and Mr. Holton occupied the other, while I had the communion table of the church in which we met all to myself.
We staid there contending in this fashion until near 2 o'clock next morning, when some of my paper boys came into the meeting, and in going round behind the Mayor, his coat tail fastened to some of them, so that he fell from the pulpit to the ground. He was too great a coward to return after this, and so he came back to the meeting no more. We carried our resolutions. The rum interest threatened to make an attack on me, but I was escorted to my house by two thousand people. Indeed, before I did go, the leader of the rum interest, who had a beard twice as long as mine, and afforded a good hold, had been lead out of the meeting by the paper boys. That evening we called another meeting, and passed resolutions asking the Mayor to resign. He came there and attempted to justify himself; but, though I got him a hearing, his speech made no converts. Soon after he ran for Governor of the State, and waited on me in order to obtain my support. I told him I would do my best to get him nominated. I did so, and then commenced to defeat him, and though the democrats had 10,000 majority in the State, and the Lieutenant Governor 10,000, the Secretary of State and the State Inspector of Prisons 10,000 majority, yet Mayor Upham was defeated by a majority of 800, and this is the last we have heard of him. Thus do we treat Mobocracy and the rum interests in Wisconsin. I come from a State where ladies lecture, and there is none to gainsay them. I come from a free State, where free discussion is allowed. All who act otherwise are old fogies in politics and religion, and such as they have done in another place this afternoon, where they refuse a woman the right to speak. Such are but the worthless incrustation of the hard shell without the living, beating heart which should lie beneath. Everything comes to perfection by progress. The potato, when first discovered, was small, watery and tasteless; it is now the most beautiful esculent that we have. The apple, at first, was small and bitter. These old fogies are the wet potato and bitter crab of antiquity. We have two daily papers in Milwaukee, two semi-weeklies and one weekly, and we will soon have another, which will make eight, and all are in favor of woman. These gentlemen who say they would not allow women to vote, pay their mothers, wives and sisters a bad compliment, but, however, they know their female relatives best, but I have only to say that I have a wife to whom I would not fear to intrust the elective franchise or any other power. [Cheers.] He said he did not desire to do more than congratulate them on their present position, and hoped he would soon see man and woman precisely on the same equality.
John C. Clure, of Boston, rose and said: I was a delegate to the Convention just mentioned, that sitting in Metropolitan Hall to-day, and which they call the world's although perhaps they do not mean it. I saw there many gentlemen who were known to me in the old country, for I am an importation, a Scotchman, and therefore glad to meet ladies. I saw a young lady on the platform there, Miss Antoinette L. Brown, I believe; and I also saw several very nice looking gentlemen, with neat collars, dickies and so forth, who seemed ill at ease, for they groaned dreadfully, and appeared uncomfortable; some even hissed, but then a hiss is not an argument. [Cheers] The honorable gentleman, named, I believe, Neal Now [actually Dow], and Chairman of that Convention, said that the ladies' credentials should be received as those of all delegates from Temperance Societies. Finally, another gentlemen, a General, I believe, Gen. Cary, of Ohio, got up and paid some very high compliments to his mama and his sisters, but said it was an awful thing to allow ladies to stand up in a public meeting and address it; he felt for them, no doubt, and feared they might injure their lungs. [Cheers and laughter.] Now twenty years ago, on the borders of England, I heard a lady lecture; and only one old Tory paper, of the time of Noah, thought fit to assail her for doing so. The lady replied, that the poor old grandmother was behind the time. [Laughter.] That very lady has done more good than all the generation of those fine gentlemen will do, if they live to be the age of Methuselah. Through her, thousands and tens of thousands have been made converts from drunkenness. She disarmed even the clergy of their prejudices, and stern Scotland itself unbent its brow to smile upon her efforts. With the feelings which such antecedents give, she crossed the ocean—I mean Mrs. Mary Jackson. [Cheers.] I have been here for nine years. My first speech was an anti-slavery one; it has been recollected to me, neither do I forget it; but I remember enough of the old country to say that she is the oldest of the delegates from it. Thousands of families bless her, and I too have perhaps cause to do so. There was a gentleman near me, and I asked him why such a lady should not be heard. He said it was dangerous to hear a woman; that a little dark-eyed girl had said the Union ought to be dissolved. I said, "Are you frightened as a little dark-eyed girl?" [Laughter.] I have often taken my wife and family to hear her, and will again, but not to hear them. [Cheers.] My business now is to visit the prisons of the City of Boston, as agent of the Shakspere Division of the Sons of Temperance. I was called on the other day to visit a murderer who could not be got to speak to anyone. I tried, so did the good Jailer, but we failed. I thought I would try "woman's might". I asked a lady and a little girl of nine years old to make the experiment. The child put her hands through the prison bars and said, gently,"Mr. Wilson, I am sorry for you. There is a little paper—do you want anything? The murderer wept and said "God have mercy—on me!" Since that, two ladies have visited him, and he is now an altered man. [Sensation.] Is their conduct improper? Have they transgressed their right? Whose conduct is more near angelic, their's or that of men, who talk loudly on the platform, but forget their brothers when there is work to be done? When I worked in a factory, I thought girls talked as well as men,—certainly much better than many drunken old Tories. Neal Dow is a great man, and perhaps a good one, but he got the greatest part of his notoriety by a woman, whom he defended in a Court of Law. She went to rumseller and said, "If you sell my husband any more rum, I will flog you." He did sell her husband more, and she went to his bar, broke his decanters, which she called destroying the Philistines, and licked the rumseller to her heart's content. I do not applaud her act, but Neal Dow did, and there got much of his fame.
I see nothing dreadful here; all look good-natured.[Cheers.] We would do well to consider that women have brains as well as men. If the women of Boston could go to the ballot box, they would save themselves much misery brought on them now by their drunken husbands; aye, and put a stop to many other abominations which disgrace that city.
He that is seen six times drunk, is, by the law of Massachusetts, called a common drunkard, and the judge can send him to the House of Correction. I have a list of 67 of these men whom I bailed, and they all faithfully met their bail, and became good citizens, fathers and husbands; yes, and if they were here, they would be good woman's rights men too.
Here a gentleman rose among the audience and announced himself as Mr. Parker. I wish (he said) to remove the wrong expression made by the last speaker. The lady was not hissed nor insulted at the Temperance Convention where I was present. Some gentlemen were hissed, and their conduct deserved it. As to that honorable man to whom, the nation owes so much, Neal Dow, he is innocent of the imputation laid to his charge. There were some gentlemen there who came not to advance the cause of Temperance, but to show their bitterness of feeling on account of the exclusion of women from the platform. I challenge any man to show that Neal Dow did anything improper. My name is Parker; I am only a little boy, but I am an Englishman, and I love the truth.
Dr. J. E. Snodgrass said he did not come here for the purpose of taking any part in the proceedings of this meeting, although he has defended the principles of the movement in Maryland. But he feared that the remarks of his friend [Mr. Clure] would do a slight injustice to the hissers of the Temperance Convention. Although hisses were heard, perhaps, while Miss Brown had the floor, he did not think they were intended for her, but for certain male delegates who were striving to get the hearing for her which was her right as a delegate. However, he was sorry to say that at least one person, dressed in the garb of a gentleman, did what was worse, because more deliberately done, in calling Miss Brown to order in tones of unnecessary harshness, before she had spoken three minutes! [Cheers.] He remembered that outrage distinctly, because he had the pleasure of parrying the blow aimed at the rights of the Association which had seen fit to send her there as its agent, by calling attention to the fact that Miss Brown had put her remarks in the form of an inquiry of the Chair, which is always a parliamentary privilege. He wanted to remove a false impression, which the remarks of Mr. Clure might leave, by stating that the Convention had not dared, so far, to reject the credentials of the female delegates, though the majority were evidently determined to prevent their doing anything that they may have been sent there to do! [Loud cheers.] Their resolution declaring their "opinion" that the public platform was not the place for woman, meant to discourage them from attending. It had not the force of a rule. The way was still open for the women asserting the right of representation on the part of the associations sending them, and he hoped that all females holding credentials, and all other friends of the whole race, without any miserable distinctions, would rally to the Convention, and insist that it be true to its pretensions and its name as a "World's Convention." [Applause.]
He had never attended a Woman's Rights Convention before; but had now come to fully realize their indispensable necessity. The monstrous exhibition of the discreditable scene through which he had passed this morning, had satisfied him of the need of their persevering in their labor of truth and love. [Applause.] But believing them fully competent to do their own work, he did not come there to assist them, and therefore would trouble them no longer.
Mr. Clure again asserted that the hissing took place when the lady was trying to ask a question.
Lucy Stone observed that Antoinette Brown would be at the Evening Session, and that would be that better time to argue this point. There was another matter which came now more properly before the Convention, which the next speaker would introduce.
Abby M. Price, Hopedale, after a few remarks, said there was a school opened for teaching women to print, and called the attention of the Convention to a paper edited by Pauline W. Davis, of Providence, devoted to the elevation of women. It is a monthly, called The Una, one dollar a year, payable in advance. It is printed by Phoebe Patterson, and when Pauline W. Davis can get more women printers she will employ them. Her Circular is recommended by Horace Greeley, Elizabeth Oakes Smith, and others.
Lucy Stone called attention to an item of Pauline W. Davis's address, which makes women say "Give the opportunity," she (Lucy S.) would say, "take it." Also where she spoke of going through an open door, she would change it to "open the door for yourselves."
P.W. Davis explained that she had said, "Go through the open door, and open the doors that are not open."
Lucy Stone—To that I heartily agree. My father and brothers and me; but there is a kind of half-grown manhood which throws impediments in the way of women. To such let us not say "give," let us take.
Philip D. Moore, of Newark, said he was of the Society of Friends, but had just undergone the ordeal of ex communication for his love of the cause of woman, which he cordially advocated.
The Convention then adjourned to 7 ½ P.M.
The proceedings of the Evening Session will be found in our evening edition.