160 years ago today in 1948, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, two abolitionists who met at the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, organize the first ever women’s rights convention at Wesylan Chapel in Seneca Falls, NY. Together, they led over 300 people on a two-day convention to discuss women’s rights and gender roles in America. During this convention, Elizabeth Stanton delivered her “Declaration of Sentiments and Grievances,” modeled after the declaration of independence, and a list of initiatives that exactly 100 women signed, including the right to vote.
Attendees and other influencers in attendance included Frederick Douglass and 40 other men who supported the cause.
72 years later, and almost as many women’s rights conventions later, the 19th Amendment was passed and women finally had a say in the politics of their nation.
We can reflect now and think about how natural it seems that women should vote, and many other rights they did not have (like the right to keep their own property and children in divorce). It’s important to consider now what rights men and women may be keeping from one another in modern society without realizing the impact their restrictions have.
Caution should go to the pendulum swinging the other way as women gain more rights and it is incumbent upon human beings to recognize injustice and disparity for all in modern culture.
What truths do you hold self-evident or not? They may not be as obvious as you may believe. Thank goodness for the courageous women that fought for what they knew was their right for 72 years. Please don’t give it back by not voting.
Watch more here:
And learn more here:
- The Declaration of Sentiments, resolutions, and excerpts from Stanton’s address are online in The First Convention Ever Called to Discuss the Civil and Political Rights of Women available through the National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection. The suffrage campaign is documented with 167 books, pamphlets, and other artifacts gathered from the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) collection held in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. Additional collections of interest include: Votes for Women: The Struggle for Women’s Suffrage; Selected Images from the Collections of the Library of Congress, Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911, and Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman’s Party