First Day: Afternoon Session
The Session opened at 3, p. m.
The Resolutions adopted at the last Session being read, WM. LLOYD GARRISON spoke thus:
"In view of the many able and earnest spirits assembled at this Convention, I am glad that it has been resolved that speakers shall occupy no more than twenty minutes; and yet it is obvious, that in the brief space of twenty minutes, it is utterly impossible to begin and complete an argument in regard to the great question which has thus brought us together.
But, having no time for preliminaries, the first pertinent question here is, what has brought us together? Why have we come from the East and from the West, and from the North? I was about to add, and from the South; but the South, alas! is so cursed by the spirit of slavery, that there seems to be no vitality left them in regard to any enterprise, however good, and the South cannot be represented on an occasion like this. It is because justice is outraged. We have met to protest against proud, rapacious, inexorable usurpation. What is this usurpation? What is this oppression of which we complain? Is it local? Does it pertain to the City of New York, or to the Empire State? No! It is universal — broader than the Empire State — broader than our national
[p. 21]domains — wide as the whole world, weighing on the entire human race. How old is the oppression which we have met to look in the face? Is it of to-day? Is it young in years, or is it not as old as the world itself? In all the ages of ages men have regarded women as inferior to themselves, and have robbed them of their co-equal rights. We are, therefore, contesting hoary tyranny — universal tyranny. And what follows, as a natural result? That the land is beginning to be convulsed. The opposition to the movement is assuming a malignant and desperate satanic character; every missile of wickedness that can be hurled against it is used. The pulpit is excited, the press is aroused; Church and State are in arms to put down a movement on behalf of justice to one half of the whole human race. The Bible, revered in our land as the inspired Word of God, is, by pulpit interpreters, made directly hostile to what we are endeavoring to obtain as a measure of right and justice; and the cry of infidelity is heard on the right hand and on the left, in order to combine public opinion so as to extinguish the movement.
Now, beloved, let us not imagine that any strange thing has happened to us. We are but passing through one of the world's great crises; we, too, in our day, are permitted to contend with spirititual wickedness in high places — with principalities and powers. What reform was ever yet begun and carried on with any reputation in the day thereof? What reform, however glorious and divine, was ever advocated at the outset with rejoicement? And if they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?
I have spoken of the press which gives the state of public opinion, which symbolizes the intellectual and moral condition of the nation. What is its character? Go where you may, particularly in all the great cities, and the papers which have the largest circulation are those, almost without exception, which are the most profligate and diabolical in spirit and purpose; and yet not profligate and diabolical gratuitously, but caterers to the popular appetite, understanding the condition of the national heart. The whole head is sick — the whole heart is faint, and we are full of wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores. It is not so across the Atlantic. In England, wherever a meeting is held, however radical or infidel, or in any way exceptionable, I believe it is the invariable custom of the press, on the part of the reporters, to make a fair report of the sayings and doings of the meeting. Whatever may be be said editorially in condemnation, the meeting is allowed to be fairly reported, and people judge for themselves. How is it in this country? Is it possible to get a fair report of a reform movement? Read the New
[p. 22]York papers of this morning, generally, and see how utterly lost to all decency, and animated by the very spirit of hell, these journals are, which endeavor to have all law and order trampled under foot, and "chaos come again." That men should come to these meetings with brows of brass, audacious to the last degree, unmatched in impudence, and sit here to caricature, blackguard, defame and misrepresent, as though they were doing something which would bring to them wreaths of laurel to bind around their brows, would exceed belief, but that we know this work is done, because there is a demand for it — because the nation is utterly rotten — because we are given up to believe a lie — an awful symptom of national degradation.
How is this question to be settled? By an appeal to law books — to a political party — to the past? No; but, like every good thing, on its own merits — on the very nature of woman, which is human nature, and therefore broad enough to sustain every position we assume. I have been called derisively, a ‘Woman's-Rights man.’ I know no such distinction. I claim to be a HUMAN RIGHTS MAN, and wherever there is a human being, I see God-given rights inherent in that being, whatever may be the sex or the complexion. Our rights are equal, and whoever tramples on them is either a ruffian or a tyrant, unwilling that justice should reign in the world. Women of America, be not discouraged! — it is well you should find a cross at the outset. Only have the grace to bear it; bide your time, and the victory is yours!
You have the argument conceded to you at the beginning. ‘All government arises from the consent of the governed.’ Any government which has it not, is not a just government, and the people have a right to overturn it and put it aside. Our fathers held that doctrine as evident; therefore, the men of this country have conceded the whole ground to you. It is for you to occupy and maintain it, come what may. What I claim for myself, I concede to every other human being, and if I refused it, I should know myself to be a villain. I ask liberty for myself, and I concede it to all. I claim the right to protection and safety, and demand the same for every other human being. I claim the right of exercising political power, and ask that the same right shall be extended to all others. We must either make our government conform to the Declaration of Independence, or else abolish it and establish a new government. Those who are ruled by law should have the power to say what shall be the laws, and who the lawmakers. Women are as much interested in legislation as men; they are under the same laws and government as men. Every woman is a
[p. 23]political entity, and as such, entitled to representation in legislative and congressional assemblies. Women, you must demand your political rights. The great issue in this country, is that in which they are involved. It is for `you to be in Congress, and in State-Assemblies, wherever laws are made and government executed, co-ordinately with man; and anything short of that is a deprivation of your just and natural rights. What is necessary for these purposes? Certainly not physical strength, and, (apparently, taking the examples men have given,) no great amount of intellectual power or moral worth. The vilest, the most ignorant, and most profligate men, are entitled to march to the polls, and give their votes. Why not women as well, or better? They have enough of intellect; they have consciences and hearts pure and enlightened enough to enable them to give votes, when the vilest and most profligate and drunken men are permitted to do so. What is required of a legislator? Nothing morally, nor intellectually, which cannot be found in the women of our country; they are, in both these respects, fully competent to take a place side by side with our men.
Some seem to think that, were women to vote, and be voted for, there would not be a sufficient number left at home to prepare the dinner, and mind the children. How many women would be required to devote their time so exclusively to political concerns? How many men sit in Congress and in the State Legislatures? Could not one woman be spared out of a large number, as easily as one man is, without there being any dread that enough would not be left to boil the kettle and darn the stockings? The objection is a foolish one, and is presented on the part of our opponents, — the spirit of foolishness. When you stand on a political equality with men, when you have the power to maintain and protect your rights, they will be maintained and protected, but never until then. I know that this will be regarded by some who are willing to give women a higher position than she now occupies, as going too far; but the struggle now going on is a governmental struggle; and rightly as it seems to me: the first thing to be contended for is, the political and legislative right of woman, since it is only through that, that any of her rights can be secured.
To the excellence of the movement God has given witnesses in abundance, on the right hand and on the left. Show me a cause anathematized by the chief priests, the scribes, and the pharisees: which politicians and demagogues endeavor to crush, which reptiles and serpents in human flesh try to spread their slime over, and hiss down, and I will show you a cause which God loves, and angels contemplate
[p. 24]with admiration. Such is our movement. Do you want the compliments of the satanic press, the New York Times, Express, and Herald? If you want the compliments of such journals, you will be bad enough to take a place among the very vilest and lowest of the human race. They are animated by a brutal, cowardly, and devilish spirit. Let us rejoice at the manifestation! Not for the wickedness, but at the evidence thus afforded by God, that our cause is of Heaven, and therefore, has on its side all the power and might of God, and in due season, is destined to have a glorious triumph!"
PACLINA WRIGHT DAVIS, being introduced to the convention, spoke in these words: —
"The phrase ‘Woman's Movement’ has come to be used for designating the demands and designs, the advocacy and efforts, of our enterprise. A movement and an advance movement, indeed, it is, and whether described as a woman's, a man's, or a world's movement, is of little consequence. It equally deserves either and all of these titles, whether we regard the agencies or the objects concerned in it. Its history is marked by every circumstance that can prove it natural, necessary, and providential, and its fortunes abundantly show that it is ‘prospering and to prosper.’
‘It is barely five years old, yet it is of age and can speak for itself.’ Of the lights that have arisen in its sky, it may justly be said that ‘there is no speech, nor language, where their voice is not heard; their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.’ All that could be reasonably hoped from agitation and discussion within a period so brief has been fully realized. Never in the history of public opinion has propagandism been more successful. The criticism of first impressions has entirely exhausted itself; the stage of serious investigation has fairly set in; the ‘movement’ has a recognized existence and a standing among the things that are, and are to be; and the argument is narrowed down already to certain differences about points and policies, means and measures. The principles, and the right and opportunity to press them, being sufficiently established and admitted; to all intents and purposes, we have become, in the language of an eminent advocate of human liberty, a ‘power upon earth,’ and it is now our business to press our advantages in the direction of practical success, corresponding to that attained in the sphere of theoretical speculation.
We are indeed not done with conventions, discussion, and agitation; but the parallel line of ACTION now pressingly invites our next attention.
[p. 25]While we still continue to urge our claims to all the rights of citizenship, and all the liberties of members of the civil state — to all the functions of freedom, and all the offices which it opens for our rightful ministration — the duty and expediency of the time, point to the BUSINESS AVOCATIONS of society as the most immediately available avenues to our ultimate and complete success.
A very high authority says, ‘to my mind the BREAD problem lies at the base of all the desirable and practical reforms which our age meditates. Before all questions of Intellectual Training or Political Franchise for woman, I place the question of enlarged opportunities for work — of a more extended and diversified field of employment.’
Without stopping to settle the relative value of the different lines of action which our cause demands, or admitting any pre-eminence among them, it is my purpose to offer some thoughts, both to those within and those without the movement, upon the justice and necessity of industrial liberty and enlargement for women; intending my remarks not more as a remonstrance to our opponents than as an exhortation to ourselves.
The enemy disputes the possession of the ‘good land’ with us, and there are giants in the field against us, and the victory is not to be achieved by battles fought on this side of its borders. We must invade the disputed territory — we must go up individually and possess it.
The abstract justice of the demand that all business and professional avocations, of which we are any wise capable, shall be freely opened to us, seems to me sufficiently vindicated by the mere statement of it. For nothing can be clearer than, that wherever a faculty is given, its employment is warranted, and the objects and opportunities for its action are irresistibly implied.
Free use is the charter written by the finger of God upon every power conferred upon his rational creatures.
Arguments from inconvenience, ill-consequence, and impropriety, are properly against the institutions, the prejudices, the wrongs of artificial systems, which forbid; for they are little better than rebellion and blasphemy when directed against the economy of the divine order; and are gross injustice against his creatures, claiming their rights and liberties under it.
But let us take a nearer and more familiar view of the point — a view of it which may perhaps commend our demand to a more earnest consideration than is usually given to the requirements of abstract principles applied in the practical conduct of life.
In the age of semi-barbarism, and that period of civilization which preceded the era of steam as a mechanical power, manufacturing industry was to so large an extent in the hands of women, and society depended so much upon their domestic industry, that, however wretched the pecuniary remuneration which it afforded them, the family and the community awarded them useful, and so far, honorable employment; which, if it did but little for the improvement of the intellect, it nevertheless satisfied the impulses of affection, and the requirements of duty; and so far, filled up the life with occupation, if not parallel, and equal to the current engagements of the other sex; yet, in some tolerable measure, proportioned to them.
When the whole life of one-half of the race was required in the indispensable service of the other half, such devotion had its honors as well as its uses, and the brain and heart, ever busy in the service which occupied the hands, were not tortured with a constant sense of suffering, of vacancy, idleness, and worthlessness.
In those times all labor was slavish, and comparatively unproductive. The learned professions, the profession of arms, and, at last, commerce and merchandise were the only avocations open to the enterprise of men which afforded wealth or honor in the pursuit. The toils and rewards of labor were divided between women and the mass of men, and there was not much real difference between the political and civil liberties of the bulk of the two sexes. Women were then not only much and well occupied, but were honored in their functions.
Their infirmities, incapacity, and inferiority, were not then the themes of philosophy and poetry, but their praise was the burden of song and sermon and scripture, as well as of sonnets, love-letters, and elegies. The summary of her excellencies, and the register of her offices, in the service of society, are given in fond and admiring detail by the author of the Proverbs which have been held sacred for nearly a thousand years. Says the wise man: ‘Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price is far above rubies? The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She bringeth her food from afar. (The products of her industry are the exchanges of foreign commerce.) She riseth while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household and a portion to her maidens. (Lady in old Saxon, signified bread giver, and her house, it seems, was the ancient factory in which the hands were employed.)
‘She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet,’ or rather, as the margin has it, ‘with
[p. 27]double garments. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.’
‘She considereth a field and buyeth it; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard." (Among the Greeks, Ceres, the sister of Jupiter, taught the art of husbandry, and was the first that made laws for civil rights, and their systematic regulation arose necessarily out of agriculture, and the industrial interests which she created.
‘Ceres was she who first our furrows ploughed,
Who gave sweet fruits, and pleasant food allowed;
Ceres first tamed us with her gentle laws;
From her kind hand the world subsistence draws.’)
‘She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.’ (Mental and bodily imbecility were not then either her fault or her flattering distinction.) ‘She perceiveth that her merchandize is good. She letteth her hands hold the distaff. She maketh fine linen and selleth it, and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.’ (Minerva, the goddess and feminine type of wisdom, who sprang directly from the head of Jove, was called ‘the work-woman,’ because she invented divers arts, especially the art of spinning; and the distaff is ascribed to her.) ‘She openeth her mouth with wisdom. She stretcheth out her hands to the poor, and in her tongue is the law of kindness; yea, she reacheth forth her hand to the needy.’ (For is she not herself a dependent and beggar, living upon poetry and pin-money?) ‘She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness,’ concludes the character, with as much of honor to the lady of the olden time, as of reflected sarcasm upon the model women of modern conservation.
Thus, inspiration, both sacred and profane, concur in their ideal of woman, in the conditions to which the description applied.
But the changes of the times have robbed womanhood of its function, and given her instead a mission, which is our reproach with the undiscerning.
Agriculture, with all its labors, cares, and concerns, passed from her hands, first, into hands better fitted to the earlier labor-saving instruments, and is now rapidly becoming a matter of machinery and brute and chemical power merely. Manufactures, in like manner, have departed from the fireside and the homestead, and installed themselves in vast workshops, where science directs, and steam accomplishes, the work of fabricating the food and clothing of the community. Machinery has not only snatched the distaff and the loom from her hands, but the
[p. 28]needle, also, in all its ordinary uses, is fast following the wool-cards and the knitting-pins. In the middle ages she was the surgeon and doctress, also, as well as the nurse of the sick. The learned profession of leechcraft has taken these from her, too — even to the branch that most concerns her own dignity and delicacy, until, stripped at last of all her reliances and uses, by which her worth might be proved or her independence secured, her wages have sunk to the starvation point, her industry has ceased to be a virtue — having ceased to be a service or a support — and, in the broadest sense of the word, we may say, her ‘occupation's gone.’ The factory and the school-room, at slave wages, remain to her; but every one incapable of these, and every one forbidden by position to enter them, is put aside from the uses of life, and thrown upon the charity and indulgence of the industry that supports the welfare of the world.
But still another change has happened that embitters and aggravates her losses by sharpening the sensibilities which endure the injury. In the middle ages — the time of her honors and usefulness, the time when the poetical praise of pudding and shirt-making had some meaning, and when nursing the sick had still a little science left to redeem it from slavish degradation — there was no cheap literature, no science for the million, for children and women, no daily newspaper, with its gossip of the higher style, to provoke interest and awaken sympathy — to arouse the soul and make it know its larger powers and feel its higher wants; no public opinion engaged with the conversion of the heathen, the revolutions of China, the wrongs of the slave, and the fortunes of the isles of the ocean. The telegraph that ‘puts a girdle around the earth in twenty minutes’ had not been substituted for the tattle of the kitchen, nor the phonograph, for the hear-say reports of sermons and speeches; and, especially, there was no idle time, or time cheaper unoccupied than employed in work, that nobody wants and nobody will pay for; but the soul of the world has been awakened into new life. The wants of all souls have been enhanced, and those of women demand their just share of life in due adjustment to the changes that have occurred.
When the reaper went out with the obsolete sickle, the hand-loom weaver with his reed and shuttle, other occupations replaced them. The scythe and cradle are already doomed to extinction along with all slow coaches and processes known to our fathers; and their sons rightfully expect the substitution of functions which the new times supply. But women according to conservatism must accept flattery and marriage now in lieu of all their natural offices of usefulness and honor, because
[p. 29]their old time ministry has fallen before the march of modern improvement. Here then we stand amid the wreck of our fortunes, amid the ruins which the 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. We appeal to the age which has deprived us of our functions and fortunes for restitution. You have taken away all that was ours of the old world. 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 supplied. You have swallowed up a thousand household workshops in every great factory, and we demand our place at the power loom with wages up to the full value of our services. We re-claim also our right of merchandize and its profits as of yore. In the middle ages we practised surgery, medicine and obstetrics. The healing art was ours, by prescription. Restore it to us. In the middle ages, copying manuscripts was a profession providing employment for thousands of women. Give us our place at the press, that has displaced the lost art. For the ruder labor, from which we have been taken and from which the world is now forever delivered, give us the use of those arts of modern birth to which we are so much better adapted than the usurping sex. Dentistry, daguerreotyping, designing, telegraphing, clerking in record 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.
For shame! Surrender these to us, or, at least, open them fairly to our even handed competition. The sovereignty of free citizens, even in this republic, is denied to us; but of this I do not speak, for it is not within the range of the present subject. I am now urging only our first 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 of 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 had 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,
[p. 30]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 mitigated by our social, domestic, and industrial consequence. All this is gone, or going, and you offer us only the cuance of genteel pauperism and dependence, under pretty names, that do not even conceal your own comtempt, much less, our shame.
Such considerations as 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 our 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.
With the rise of productive industry to greater control over the elements which support life, and those things which enlighten and refine societary existence, the agents, actually employed in the liberalizing work, have been carried up with it until, in our freer communities, every man of full age has a voice in his own government, and, to that extent, a control over the distribution and appropriation of his own products. Liberty is seldom aohieved by victory in arms, but it is always acquired by the might of arms in useful industry.
Whoever can pay for himself, and support himself, may be free. When a man's intrinsic manhood is really worth as much as he will bring in the market he may be his own purchaser, and pass even under the laws of slavery from the condition of bondage to that of freedom. Bones, muscles and latent capacities may be shackled, but efficient force can never be.
Poverty is essentially slavery if not legal yet actual. The women of the time, the women worthy of the time must understand this and they must go to work! They must press into every avenue, every open door that custom and law leaves unguarded, aye, and themselves withdraw the bolts and bars from others still closed against them that they may enter and take possession. They must purchase themselves out of bondage. Let those who are chosen and called 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 now generally accorded to us are essentially menial, and we are compelled to take the character of servants to enter most of them; and then, in the language of this progressive and calculating age, they ‘don't pay.’ We must take the reputation which courtesy gives
[p. 31]the sex in our hands, and put it at risk, while we put the prejudice and selfishness that restrains us to the question. In a word, we must endeavor to establish our PERSONAL independence, and we must no longer be content with the position and the limits which opinion assigns. It needs but to set a good example, in every promising department, of self-supporting industry to carry our point, and effect our emancipation.
In professional authorship women have accomplished wonders already; in the practice of medicine, though the first female diploma is not yet five years old, the way is opened, and widening every day. The practice without the parchment did much to prepare the way, but now, even the regular study is well provided for, or in process of rapid preparation.
Prejudice goes down without an argument before success. The world does not look so sharply into the titles of persons in possession as upon mere claimants who stand outside and ask for it. The arts, the handicrafts, the shops and various offices are open wide enough now for an energetic woman's admittance. Women now administer their deceased husbands' estates. They are just as capable of administering those of strangers, and should not be passed by when your last wills and testaments are made. Nor should we be negligent of that preparation which would fit us to be selected for such appointments. But it is not my present purpose to indicate the specialities of the vast range of business and professional engagements to which the principle directs us.
My principal thought has been presented imperfectly, but I hope, suggestively, and to useful ends. Indeed, when I reflect upon the untold evils, the unfathomed depths of wretchedness and crime, to which want of profitable and suitable occupation exposes my sisters of all conditions, I could almost wish the ages men call dark were restored to us. The healthy, vigorous, earnest, busy, honorable women, whose children could rise up and call blessed, and husbands could render homage to as their crown of honor, were a good exchange, methinks, for the imbecile and incapable body of fashion, who divides her time pretty evenly between her dressmaker, her physician and her clergyman. But how much more touching the sufferings of those hosts of honorable, truly honorable women who would, but cannot find a day's work that justifies their living through it. And what shall be said of similar helplessness oppressed with poverty and dependency — whose daily struggles are environed by starvation on the one side, and profligacy on the other? Crowned and guarded by his natural freedom, no honest man is held so close between the choice of sin and suffering, for a thousand worthy means of livelihood
[p. 32]invite his energies, and reward his efforts. This evil must be amended. The virtuous and noble womanhood of the times must open the way. They must take up the BREAD QUESTION AND SOLVE THE PROBLEM of industrial independence. by extending and enriching the varieties of work that women shall do in this busy world, and so carry on their personal emancipation, while their civil and social enfranchisment 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 power which supports them."
W. L. GARRISON. — "I wish to make an explanation. I had occasion to speak, in terms of merited severity, in regard to certain false, foul, and Satanic reports of the Whole World's Temperance Convention, and the Anti-Slavery Meetings of Sunday last. I simply mean to say that I did not intend to cast any reflection on the reporters at this Convention. They are strangers to me, and ‘sufficient to the day’ will be their report of our proceedings. I condemn no man in advance, and trust we will to-morrow find a fair and accurate report, as far as practicable, of the doings of to-day. We only ask to be honestly reported, and not basely and foully caricatured. I will cherish the hope till to-morrow, that we will be fairly reported. I wish to add to the papers I have alluded to in terms of condemnation, another, strangely misnamed ‘The National Democrat,’ edited, I am told, by a Rev, or ex-Rev. gentleman, the Rev. Chauncey C. Burr. I will read as a specimen, a single paragraph, referring to the Anti-Slavery Meeting at Metropolitan Hall:
Time was when a full-blooded nigger meeting in New York would have been heralded with the cry 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 hareher means were resorted than "tufts of graes." Talk about freedom! Is any land so 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 peticoats, 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
[p. 33]being exploded, all that is necessary now is to laugh, hiss, and vociferously appland. 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.
CYRUS M. BURLEIGH. — Our age is called progressive, and I suppose this extract which you have just heard, is an illustration of the progress of our age. Our friend who last spoke has told you that the paper he quoted from is edited by a Rev. Mr. Burr. I had the opportunity of an acquaintance with the Rev. gentleman some six years ago, as a very prominent lecturer on anti-capital punishment, and anti-slavery. He then held the audiences of Philadelphia fascinated by the spell of his eloquence, as he drew glowing pictures of the horrors of slavery, and the rights of the colored people to the privileges of freemen in Pennsylvania. He was also an equally devoted advocate of Women's Rights; but I suppose he has made the same progress in this direction as he has in the anti-slavery question. Let him only progress for six years more at the same ratio he has advanced during the last six, and I leave it to your imagination to depict the state of excellency at which he shall have arrived."
Mrs.MOTT. — "It may, perhaps, be as well to say no more, in the way of anticipation, as to how the newspapers will act in reporting these proceedings. The better way will, probably, be to hope for the best. When the sittings of the Convention shall have ended, then all will be able to judge how the journals have acted, whether fairly or otherwise."
Mr. S. M. BOOTH, of Wisconsin, (Editor of the Milwaukie Free Democrat), spoke in allusion to the injustice of "The World's Temperance Convention" towards woman, and expressed himself as strongly in favor of the Woman's Rights movement.
JNO. C. CLUER, of Boston, then made some remarks disapproving of the proceedings of "The World's Temperance Convention" with reference to the participation of women in their meetings, and also spoke of the efficiency of Elizabeth Jackson, of England, in the Temperance movement, for twenty years past.
Dr. J. E. SNODGRASS, of Baltimore, made some remarks in reply to Mr. Cluer; and Mr. Cluer having spoken briefly in answer, and Miss Lucy Stone having made a short speech with reference to the subject of the colloquy between these gentlemen,
ABBY H. PRICE, of Hopedale, came forward and spoke as follows: "At this late hour of the Session I can only offer a few remarks. The
[p. 34]justice of the cause, we assert, cannot, I conceive, be disputed by any candid and reasonable mind. An equality of rights among those on whom the laws press with an equality of weight, seems a demand founded on first principles so obvious, that the only matter of surprise is, how it can be denied for a moment; or rather, that would be matter of surprise, did we not know how little, hitherto, the world has been guided by rationality, and how completely spell-bound have the customs of society become under the frost of prejudice and old habit. I can fancy this frost dissolved; indeed. I already see the sun of progress play on its cold surface. I hail the light of progression. Indeed, history teaches us that we have progressed a little way. In the savage state of human communities, woman was the poorest slave, in the coarsest and most corporeal sense, of her tyrant. She has never been disenthralled, but the advance of refinement has removed some of the more tangible and disgraceful badges of her servitude. She has become the toy of man, an ornament with which he was glad to deck the halls of his leisure and recreation; but not the less a slave. Indeed, perhaps the latter condition is the more insupportable of the two; for when woman was released from the coarser brutality of her serfdom; when her hands were relieved from the merest drudgery, and her mind became thus unoccupied and given over to that absence of sordid care, which, while to some it became vacuity, was still improved by others into a means of culture and progression; then the awakened mind, starting from a lethargy only to find itself in fetters, felt the ‘entering of the iron into the soul’ with an acuteness of sensation of which it was incapable in its dormant state. The evil, however, will, must provide its own remedy, and I hail from this platform the advent of a better day. My object now is merely to make mention of a journal edited by PAULINA W. DAVIS, of Providence; it is called the ‘Una,’ and is devoted to the elevation of woman; the price is a dollar a year, payable in advance. I may also mention a school for teaching women to print, which has been opened. Phœbe Patterson is now a practical printer, and the design is to have the paper printed entirely by women, when a large enough number can be found to do this work. The undertaking of Mrs. Davis is patronised by Horace Greeley, Elizabeth Oakes Smith, and other."
LUCY STONE. — "I wish to say one word as to an item which fell from the lips of Mrs. Davis. She makes woman say to man, ‘Give, give us the opportunity, &c.’ I would say to woman. ‘Take, take, &c.’ She also speaks of woman's ‘going in at the doors that are open.’ Now, I would rather say, ‘women, open the doors for yourselves.’"
Mrs. DAVIS. — "There is a slight misapprehension of what I said. I did say, go through the open doors; but I added a recommendation to open the doors that are not open."
LUCY STONE — "I would give three cheers for that sentiment, and I am glad of what I have said, as it has procured a repetition of the idea. Women, we must not wait for men to give; we must do our own work: if we do not, we will never get men to help us. This is the fact, speaking in a general way. My father and brothers give me their aid in the good work I have undertaken; but all are not like them. There is a kind of half-grown manhood, which glories, as in its chief prerogative, in denying to woman her rights, and humiliating her. It is a wretched specimen in natural history; but such as it is, we have to deal with it; and, as yet, it includes the larger number of men. We may ask indeed: but shall we receive? Better far for us to adopt the shorter method, and take. Women, you must all work in this matter; nothing can be accomplished without your labor."
Mrs. MOTT. — "I feel much regret that the debate of the present session took so wide a range. Our time is limited, and it is earnestly requested that all speakers will strictly confine themselves to the matter under discussion. There has been, perhaps, too much time given to debating the subject of hissing, and such other disturbances. These matters would, most probably, be better left in the back ground on the present occasion. We expect to hear some speakers of note at the session of this evening; we shall probably be favored with addresses from Antoinette L. Brown, Rev. Wm. H. Channing, and Mrs. E. L. Rose, among others."
PHILIP D. MOORE, of Newark, N. J., expressed his sympathy with the movement in a few words. He had belonged to the Friends' Society, from which he had been excommunicated lately on account of that sympathy. The session closed at 5 P. M.