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ELIZABETII CADY STANTON,
MATILDA JOSLIN GAGE.
ILLUSTRATED WITH STEEL ENGRAVINGS.
IN TIIREE POLUMES.
ALL PERSONS BORN OR NATURALIZED IN THE UNITED STATES, AND SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION
THEREOF, ARE LITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES."
SUSAN B. ANTHONY.
ROCHESTER. N. Y.: CHARLES MANN.
Copyright, 1881, by
MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE.
Copyright, 1886, by Susan B. ANTHONY.
E, O. JENKINS, Printer and Stereotyper, 20 NORTH WILLIAM ST., NEW YORK.
In presenting to our readers the second volume of the “History of Woman Suffrage,” we gladly return our thanks to the press for the many favorable notices we have received from leading journals, both in the old world and the new. The words of cordial approval from a large circle of friends, and especially from women well known in periodical literature, have been to us a constant stimulus during the toilsome months we have spent in gathering material for these pages. It was our purpose to have condensed the records of the last twenty years in a second volume, but so many new questions in regard to Citizenship, State rights, and National power, indirectly bearing on the political rights of women, grew out of the civil war, that the arguments and decisions in Congress and the Supreme Courts have combined to swell these pages beyond our most liberal calculations, with much valuable material that can not be condensed nor ignored, making a third volume inevitable.
By their active labors all through the great conflict, women learned that they had many interests outside the home. In the camp and hospital, and the vacant places at their firesides, they saw how intimately the interests of the State and the home were intertwined; that as war and all its concomitants were subjects of legislation, it was only through a voice in the laws that their efforts for peace could command consideration.
The political significance of the war, and the prolonged discussions on the vital principles of government involved in the reconstruction, threw new light on the status of woman in a republic. Under a liberal interpretation of the XIV. Amendment, women, believing their rights of citizenship secured, made several attempts to vote in different States. Those who succeeded were arrested, tried, and convicted. Those who were denied the right to register their names and deposit their votes, sued the Inspectors of Election. Others
attempting to practice law, being denied that right in the States, took their cases up to the Supreme Court of the United States for adjudication. Others invaded the pulpit, asking to be ordained, which brought the question of woman's right to preach before ecclesiastical assemblies. These various attempts to secure her political and civil rights have called forth endless discussions on woman's true position in the State, the church, and the world of work.
While gratefully accepting the generous praises of our friends, we must briefly reply to some strictures by our critics. Some object to the title of our work; they say you can not write the “ History of Woman Suffrage” until the fact is accomplished. We feel that already enough has been achieved to make the final victory certain. Women vote in England, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and even India, on certain interests and qualifications; in Wyoming and Utah on all questions, and on the same basis as male citizens; and in a dozen States of the Union on school affairs. Moreover, women are filling many offices, such as Clerks of Courts, Notaries Public, Masters in Chancery, State Librarians, School Superintendents, Commissioners of Charity, Post Mistresses, Pension Agents, Engrossing and Enrolling Clerks in Legislative Assemblies.
After years of persistent effort a resolution was passed in both Houses, during the present session of Congress (1882), securing “a select committee on the political Rights and Disabilities of Woman”—the first time in the history of our Government that a special committee to look after the interests of woman was ever appointed. A proposition for a XVI. Amendment to the National Constitution, to secure to women the right of suffrage, is now pending in Congress. Some phase of this question is being debated every year in State Legislatures. Propositions for so amending their constitutions as to extend the elective franchise to women will be voted upon by the people in four of the Western States within the coming two years. These successive steps of progress during forty years are as surely a part of the History of Woman Suffrage as will be the events of the closing period in which victory shall at last crown the hard fought battles of half a century.