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Letter of Mrs. Gage.

857

Vermont, made earnest and able addresses. Mrs. Perkins had come fresh from the Women's Christian Temperance Union in Indianapolis, baptized with its earnest spirit of work. Rev. T. J. Vater appealed to the women to strive for solid excellence, leaving forever the tinsel and the show which have been held as appropriate to woman. His speech excited discussion, and added much interest to the afternoon session. The Business Committee reported the following resolutions :

Resolved, That in the death of Wm. Lloyd Garrison, who signed the “Call” for the meeting which formed this Association, who was an officer in it from the beginning, and its Presideut last year, the cause of equal rights has suffered an irreparable loss.

Resolved, That suffragists everywhere owe a debt of gratitude to the memory of Angelina Grimke Weld, lately deceased, who as one of the first women speakers, prepared the way and opened wide the door for all other women to be heard in their own defense.

Dr. Mary F. Thomas and Lucy Stone spoke feelingly to these resolutions, which were adopted by a standing vote of the meeting. At the last evening, Mrs. Cutler read a letter from Mrs. Frances D. Gage. Friends of the American Woman Suffrage Association, of my dear native State, Ohio:

With what joy and gladness I would lift my heart to the All-good, All-true, and Allbeautiful, if I could be with you to-day, and speak my emphatic yes and amen in the behalf of all true efforts for woman suffrage. But what word can I speak that will not be better spoken ? What argument is not already familiar to the reading and thinking mind? Are not "the truths as self-evident" to-day to the intelligent pablic as they were a century ago ? That all people, “not men only,” are born equal and endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights, among which are those to life, literty, and pursuit of happiness. Has the human race ever been made more miserable for one progressive step toward liberty since the days when Christ was hung upon the cross for daring to say, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you do ye the same unto them.” What else does woman suffrage mean? What else is needed but this principle to settle the vexed question of “Solid North “Solid South”. What else but its recognition to drive every liquor-saloon from the land, making temperance universal ? Whot but this to bring about the great system of social morality-making it as heinous a crime for man to do wrong as for woman. Bunker Hill, McCoupin Co., II., Oct. 23, 1879.

FRANCES D. GAGE,

or

Mrs. Cutler continued in a pertinent speech. Miss Hindman followed with an able argument to show why and where women need the ballot. Mrs. E. Dickerson, of St. Louis, Dr. Wilson, of Cincinnati, and Lucy Stone followed. Each of these in their special way showed how to secure justice to women. Mrs. Dickerson answered objections, and put phases of the law as applied to women in fine contrast with the law as applied to men. Dr. Wilson, in a wide-awake lively speech, advised women to try a new method, and starve out the men who would not concede their rights. He said, "Give them no coffee for breakfast, nor steak for dinner, and nothing good for supper until they put the ballot in your hands.” He gave deserved blame to women for not being more active in their own behalf. This breezy speech was often applauded, and good-natured criticism followed, putting the heaviest duty on the shoulders of men who have the power to free women, but still do not do it. The last speech of the evening was made by Lucy Stone, who showed the dreary helplessness implied in disfranchisement, and who sought to arouse women to a proper resentment against such degradation of position. Then was sung, “Praise God, from whom all bless

VOL. II.-55.

ings flow," and thus closed the tenth annual meeting of the American Woman Suffrage Association.

The Eleventh Annual Meeting of the American Woman Suffrage Association held its sessions in 1880 at Washington, D. C. Delegates were present from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Iowa. A large and intelligent audience nearly filled the body and galleries of the large hall. The meeting was called to order by the President, HENRY B. BLACKWELL. who said : Fellow-citizens, Ladies and Gentlemen: The Annual Meeting of the American Woman Suffrage Association is not a mere mass meeting of individuals. It is a body of delegates from State and local societies assembled in a representative capacity, and as such I welcome you to-night. We meet for the first time in this capital city of the republic, to promote a great social and political change. We propose to substitute for the existing political aristocracy of men alone, a government founded upon the united suffrages of men and women. We urge the enfranchisement of women, not in a spirit of antagonism between man and woman, but as the common interest of both. We urge the enfranchisement of woman as an act of political justice, and also as a measure of the highest expediency. Women need the ballot for their own protection and self-respect. Men equally need the votes of women as an added power for order, temperance, purity, and peace. Mr. BLACKWELL read a dispatch from Gov. Hoyt, of Wyoming Territory:

GREEN RIVER, W. T., Dec. 15, 1880. To the Committee on Woman Suffrage:-Your kind invitation was delayed, so that my acceptance is impossible. Understand, however, that I fully recognize the justice of the cause you represent, and wish you and your co-laborers God-speed in the great work of its furtherance.

JOHN W. HOYT. Mrs. Lucy Stone was the last speaker. She spoke with a quiet earnestness that showed the depth of her convictions, and how greatly her heart was in her work. Her address was an entirely argumentative one, abundant illustrations being used to clinch her statements. She said that she felt keenly the degradation of being disfranchised. To bring about a change in the present state of affairs, she would have every mother impress upon her children, when they were as young as nine years of age, that women have as much right to govern as their fathers; then the boys would grow up on the side of their mothers and the girls would become advocates of the cause. Personally she cared more for woman suffrage than anything else under the sun. In conclusion, she urged the people of Washington to help them in obtaining from Congress a XVI. Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote, and for the enactment of a law giving women suffrage in the Territories. The following letter was read:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 1880. MY DEAR Mrs. HOWE:-My time is to be so crowded with occupations for the next ten days that I must decline your courteous invitation to speak at the annual meeting of the American Woman Suffrage Association.

I shall be very glad to take some fitting opportunity publicly to reaffirm my conviction, which grows stronger with every year's experience, that the admission of woman to her full and equal share in the Government is essential to a perfect republic.

I am, yours very truly,

Geo. F. HOAR.

Memorial to Congress.

859

Letters were read from W. G. Elliot, President of the University of Missouri, Lorepiza Haynes, Frances D. Gage, Emma C. Bascom, Mrs. Mary F. Henderson, and George B. Loring.

Mrs. HELEN M. GOUGAR, of Lafayette, Ind., read a carefully prepared statement of objections, and answered them with force and spirit. Her address was happily conceived and gracefully delivered. Her voice is a clear soprano, distinct, well modulated, with not a little melody in its pure, soft tones.

Miss EASTMAN read a form of memorial which had been prepared to be presented to Congress to-day. It was adopted.

Miss GREw moved that the President of the association be requested to take steps to present it at once. Adopted.

To the Senate and House of Representatives in Congress assembled :-The American Woman Suffrage Association at its annual meeting of delegates, convened in Washington, Dec. 16, 1880, respectfully pray your honorable bodies to enact a law securing to women, citizens of the United States, resident in the Territories, the same political rights as are exercised by the male citizens of the United States resident therein. (Signed)

H. B. BLACKWELL, President.
LUCY STONE, Chairman Ex. Com.

MATILDA HINDMAN, Secretary. (The names of the Executive Committee, thirty in number, were also added).

Mrs. LUCY STONE, chairman of the Executive Committee, read the tenth annual report of the American Woman Suffrage Association. After which reports from the different States were given. At the afternoon session, after a statement by Mrs. STONE, in regard to the finances of the meeting, an invitation was extended to become members of the Association by the payment of $1. Mrs. Antoinette Brown Blackwell, of Somerville, N. J., made an address upon the right and necessity of granting woman suffrage. Mrs. Blackwell read from her manuscript, and made a quiet but effective appeal for the cause.

Miss Mary GREW, of Pennsylvania, was the next speaker. She maintained that the chief reason women were disfranchised was that men did not think about it, and the women did not either. She urged her hearers hereafter to think about it. This right should be conferred on women in accordance with the principles of this Government. But it is asked: What do you want of the ballot? And the speaker said that she wanted it to do with it the same as men did, and for the protection of her rights and those of other women. She could not say how women would vote if they got the ballot, but she supposed they would use it much as other citizens had done.

At the evening session, before the regular programme of speeches was begun, the resolutions* were read and adopted.

* 1. Resolved, That we urge upon Congress the performance of three important duties in behalf of the women of America

First, To enact a law giving women citizens of the United States, resident in the Territories, the same political rights as are exercised by the male citizens of the United States resident therein.

Second, To reform the laws affecting the rights of married women in the District of Columbia and the Territories.

Third, To submit to the States a constitutional amendment prohibiting political distinction on account of sex.

As the last resolution was put, Mrs. Lucy Stone arose and paid very graceful and eloquent tributes to the memories of Lucretia Mott, Mrs. Child, and Mr. Nathaniel White.

Marshal DOUGLASS was then introduced, and said he was not there to make a speech, but to show his sympathy with the cause. He was so entirely in love with it that he thought it deserved the highest eloquence and the profoundest earnestness it could command to advance it. He knew of no reason why a man should vote and a woman not. The republic needed the good qualities of its citizens to help it, and recognizing the intelligence and heart of women he was in favor of opening every avenue by which their moral worth could be utilized for the benefit of the country. It was an injury to keep any person in this country from the ballot when suffrage was universal. It was a degradation. If you want to keep a man out of the mud, black his boots. If you want to develop woman's best qualities, give her the ballot.

Mrs. MARY E. HAGGART, of Indiana, followed with a bold and brilliant argument, presenting the claims of her sex to the ballot.

Mrs. MARY A. LIVERMORE asked how it was that women to-day are exposed to a hotter fire than ever before. Women are not as much toasted at banquets or flattered with extravagant compliments as a few years ago. She warned her hearers that if woman continued to make of herself a peg to hang millinery goods on, she would be riddled with the shafts of ridicule. If she entered the sphere of man, and sought, by the cultivation of her intellect, to elevate both herself and man, she would equally expose herself to satire. The times were different now from the past. The question of woman suffrage in one form or another was constantly coming up everywhere.

Officers* were elected for the ensuing year.

Mrs. LIVERMORE said, as this was a political meeting of men and women, she hoped it would be closed after the usual fashion, by singing the doxology. The whole audience rose and sang it, and the Convention adjourned.

A memorial, signed by the officers of the American Woman Suffrage Association, asking Congress to establish suffrage for women in the Territories, was presented to the Senate by Hon. George F. Hoar, and referred to the Committee on Territories, which was to give a hearing to a committee from the Suffrage Association. But no quorum of the Senate Committee came together, and the opportunity was lost.

On Friday afternoon Mrs. Hayes received the members of the Suffrage

2. Resolved, That we advise our auxiliary State societies to petition their respective Legislatures to enact a law this winter conferring suffrage on women in Presidential elections under Section 2, Article 2, of the Federal Constitution.

WHEREAS, Since the last annual meeting of the Association, three eminent advocates of the claim of women for equal political rights have passed away-Lucretia Mott, Lydia Maria Child, and Nathaniel White-therefore,

3. Resolved, That the American Woman Suffrage Association records its grateful appreciation of their invaluable service and its sense of irreparable loss, now that the eloquent voice is silent, the ready pen dropped, and the generous hand is cold in death. In the wealth of their matured character and great achievement they have left us the permanent inspiration of a noble example.

* President, Dr. Mary F. Thomas, of Indiana. /

The South Awakened.

861

Association with a cordiality and grace most becoming to her, and most delightful to us; our hearty sympathy with her good stand for temperance opened the way for conversation, and a very pleasant two hours were spent at the White House. Mrs. Hayes took us through the large conservatories, which, she said, had few flowers, as she “had most of them cut off for the Children's Hospital Fair." But there were a great many rare and beautiful flowers remaining. She cut and distributed some among us, and showed us the private family rooms, the new china ordered for the White House, and the writing desk made from the wreck of the ship that went in search of Sir John Franklin, which was presented by Queen Victoria to the President of the United States. In numberless ways she showed herself a fine hostess, as well as an accomplished lady. When at last we separated it was to carry away the memory of this pleasant visit, and of an excellent meeting

Nothing could have been finer than the reception given by Louisville to the American Woman Suffrage Association, which met in that city October, 1881. The need of extending the outposts, and of winning new friends to the cause, had decided the executive committee of the Association to hold its Twelfth Annual Meeting in Louisville. It was an experiment which the result more than justified. Success was due in a great degree to the fairness and friendliness of the press. Mr. Watterson, of the Courier-Journal, said in advance that his paper would give full and accurate reports. Mr. Clark, of the Commercial, personally expressed his purpose to deal justly by the proceedings of the meetings. This was all that was needed. Any true statement of the claim of suffragists is sure to command the respect of right minded people.

The first session was for business. It was thinly attended by the citizens of Louisville, there being not more than a hundred and fifty or two hundred people present. But each succeeding session increased in numbers until on the last evening, the Grand Opera House had not seats to hold the great and sympathetic audience, which completely filled the body and galleries of the house, and left rows of men and women standing all around against the walls. The Courier-Journal gave nine columns of verbatim report of the first day and evening, together with philosophic and friendly editorials. The Commercial, not so large in size, and hence with less space to use, yet did editorially and by its reports excellent service, by giving to its readers a true idea of the work which was sought to be done.

Delegates had come with encouraging reports in most cases, of the work in twelve States by auxiliary societies. Local societies in towns sent letters, and letters from individuals—a very large number-came to hand, all showing how widely woman suffrage ideas are spreading, and how earnestly its advocates strive to advance their cause. All these reports the Louisville Courier-Journal published entire, together with the letters of Gov. Long, Gov. St. John, John G. Whittier, Wendell Phillips, President Bascom, President Eliot, and others, along with full reports of each session to the last, and crowned the whole by friendly editorials the morning after the close of the meetings.

Col. J. W. Ward, of Louisville, had kindly attended to preliminary arrange

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