Part 2 out of 4
enfranchised in Washington Territory nature has continued in her
wonted courses. The sun rises and sets; there is seed-time and
harvest; seasons come and go. The population has increased with the
usual regularity and rapidity. Marriages have been quite as frequent,
and divorces have been no more so. Women have not lost their influence
for good upon society, but men have been elevated and refined. If we
are to believe the testimony which comes from lawyers, physicians,
ministers of the gospel, merchants, mechanics, farmers, and laboring
men, the united testimony of the entire people of the Territory, the
results of woman suffrage there have been all that could be desired by
its friends. Some of the results in that Territory have been seen
in making the polls quiet and orderly, in awaking a new interest in
educational questions and in questions of moral reform, in securing
the passage of beneficial laws and the proper enforcement of them;
and, as I have said before, in elevating men, and that without injury
to the women.
Mr. EUSTIS. Will the Senator allow me to ask him a question?
Mr. DOLPH. The Senator can ask me a question, if he chooses.
Mr. EUSTIS. If it be right and proper to confer the right of suffrage
on women, I ask the Senator whether he does not think that women ought
to be required to serve on juries?
Mr. DOLPH. I can answer that very readily. It does not necessarily
follow that because a woman is permitted to vote and thus have a voice
in making the laws by which she is to be governed and by which her
property rights are to be determined, she must perform such duty as
service upon a jury. But I will inform the Senator that in Washington
Territory she does serve upon juries, and with great satisfaction
to the judges of the courts and to all parties who desire to see an
honest and efficient administration of law.
Mr. EUSTIS. I was aware of the fact that women are required to serve
on juries in Washington Territory because they are allowed to vote.
I understand that under all State laws those duties are considered
correlative. Now, I ask the Senator whether he thinks it is a decent
spectacle to take a mother away from her nursing infant and lock her
up all night to sit on a jury?
Mr. DOLPH. I intended to say before I reached this point of being
interrogated that I not only do not believe that there is a single
argument against woman suffrage that is tenable, and I may be
prejudiced in the matter, but that there is not a single one that is
really worthy of any serious consideration. The Senator from Louisiana
is a lawyer, and he knows very well that under such circumstances, a
mother with a nursing infant, that fact being made known to the court
would be excused; that would be a sufficient excuse. He knows himself,
and he has seen it done a hundred times, that for trivial excuses
compared to that men have been excused from service on a jury.
Mr. EUSTIS. I will ask the Senator whether he knows that under the
laws of Washington Territory that is a legal excuse from serving on a
Mr. DOLPH. I am not prepared to state that it is; but there is no
question in the world but that any judge, that fact being made known,
would excuse a woman from attendance upon a jury. No special authority
would be required. I will state further that I have not learned that
there has been any serious objection on the part of any woman summoned
for jury service in that Territory to perform that duty. I have not
learned that it has worked to the disadvantage of any family in the
Territory; but I do know that the judges of the courts have taken
especial pains to commend the women who have been called to serve upon
juries for the manner in which they have discharged their duty.
I wish to say further that there is no connection whatever between
jury service and the right of suffrage. The question as to who shall
perform jury service, the question as to who shall perform military
service, the question as to who shall perform civil official duty in
a government is certainly a matter to be regulated by the community
itself; but the question of the right to participate in the formation
of a government which controls the life and the property and the
destinies of its citizens, I contend is a question of right that goes
back of these mere regulations for the protection of property and the
punishment of offenses under the laws. It is a matter of right which
it is tyranny to refuse to any citizen demanding it.
Now, Mr. President, I shall close by saying: God speed the day when
not only in all the States of the Union and in all the Territories,
but everywhere, woman shall stand before the law freed from the last
shackle which has been riveted upon her by tyranny and the last
disability which has been imposed upon her by ignorance, not only in
respect to the right of suffrage, but in every other respect the peer
and equal of her brother, man.
* * * * *
Mr. VEST. Mr. President, any measure of legislation which affects
popular government based on the will of the people as expressed
through their suffrage is not only important but vitally so. If this
Government, which is based on the intelligence of the people, shall
ever be destroyed it will be by injudicious, immature, or corrupt
suffrage. If the ship of state launched by our fathers shall ever be
destroyed, it will be by striking the rock of universal, unprepared
suffrage. Suffrage once given can never be taken away. Legislatures
and conventions may do everything else; they never can do that. When
any particular class or portion of the community is once invested with
this privilege it is used, accomplished, and eternal.
The Senator who last spoke on this question refers to the successful
experiment in regard to woman-suffrage in the Territories of Wyoming
and Washington. Mr. President, it is not upon the plains of the
sparsely-settled Territories of the West that woman suffrage can be
tested. Suffrage in the rural districts and sparsely settled regions
of this country must from the very nature of things remain pure when
corrupt everywhere else. The danger of corrupt suffrage is in the
cities, and those masses of population to which civilization tends
everywhere in all history. Whilst the country has been pure and
patriotic, the cities have been the first cancers to appear upon the
body-politic in all ages of the world.
Wyoming Territory! Washington Territory! Where are their large cities?
Where are the localities in these Territories where the strain upon
popular government must come? The Senator from New Hampshire, who is
so conspicuous in this movement, appalled the country some months
since by his ghastly array of illiteracy in the Southern States. He
proposes that $77,000,000 of the people's money be taken in order to
strike down the great foe to republican government, illiteracy. How
was that illiteracy brought upon this country? It was by giving the
suffrage to unprepared voters. It is not my purpose to go back into
the past and make any partisan or sectional appeal, but it is a fact
known to every intelligent man that in one single act the right of
suffrage was given without preparation to hundreds of thousands of
voters who to-day can scarcely read. That Senator proposes now to
double, and more than double, that illiteracy. He proposes to give the
negro women of the South this right of suffrage, utterly unprepared as
they are for it.
In a convention some two years and a half ago in the city of
Louisville an intelligent negro from the South said the negro men
could not vote the Democratic ticket because the women would not live
with them if they did. The negro men go out in the hotels and upon the
railroad cars. They go to the cities and by attrition they wear
away the prejudice of race; but the women remain at home, and their
emotional natures aggregate and compound the race-prejudice, and when
suffrage is given them what must be the result?
Mr. President, it is not my purpose to speak of the inconveniences,
for they are nothing more, of woman suffrage. I trust that as a
gentleman I respect the feelings of the ladies and their advocates. I
am not here to ridicule. My purpose only is to use legitimate argument
as to a movement which commands respectful consideration, if for no
other reason than because it comes from women. But it is impossible
to divest ourselves of a certain degree of sentiment when considering
I pity the man who can consider any question affecting the influence
of woman with the cold, dry logic of business. What man can, without
aversion, turn from the blessed memory of that dear old grandmother,
or the gentle words and caressing hand of that blessed mother gone to
the unknown world, to face in its stead the idea of a female justice
of the peace or township constable? For my part I want when I go to my
home--when I turn from the arena where man contends with man for what
we call the prizes of this paltry world--I want to go back, not to be
received in the masculine embrace of some female ward politician, but
to the earnest, loving look and touch of a true woman. I want to go
back to the jurisdiction of the wife, the mother; and instead of a
lecture upon finance or the tariff, or upon the construction of the
Constitution, I want those blessed, loving details of domestic life
and domestic love.
I have said I would not speak of the inconveniences to arise from
woman suffrage--I care not--whether the mother is called upon to
decide as a juryman or jury-woman rights of property or rights of
life, whilst her baby is "mewling and puking" in solitary confinement
at home. There are other considerations more important, and one of
them to my mind is insuperable. I speak now respecting women as a sex.
I believe that they are better than men, but I do not believe they are
adapted to the political work of this world. I do not believe that the
Great Intelligence ever intended them to invade the sphere of work
given to men, tearing down and destroying all the best influences for
which God has intended them.
The great evil in this country to-day is in emotional suffrage. The
great danger to-day is in excitable suffrage. If the voters of this
country could think always coolly, and if they could deliberate, if
they could go by judgment and not by passion, our institutions would
survive forever, eternal as the foundations of the continent itself;
but massed together, subject to the excitements of mobs and of these
terrible political contests that come upon us from year to year under
the autonomy of our Government, what would be the result if suffrage
were given to the women of the United States?
Women are essentially emotional. It is no disparagement to them they
are so. It is no more insulting to say that women are emotional than
to say that they are delicately constructed physically and unfitted to
become soldiers or workmen under the sterner, harder pursuits of life.
What we want in this country is to avoid emotional suffrage, and what
we need is to put more logic into public affairs and less feeling.
There are spheres in which feeling should be paramount. There are
kingdoms in which the heart should reign supreme. That kingdom belongs
to woman. The realm of sentiment, the realm of love, the realm of the
gentler and the holier and kindlier attributes that make the name of
wife, mother, and sister next to that of God himself.
I would not, and I say it deliberately, degrade woman by giving her
the right of suffrage. I mean the word in its full signification,
because I believe that woman as she is to-day, the queen of home and
of hearts, is above the political collisions of this world, and should
always be kept above them.
Sir, if it be said to us that this is a natural right belonging to
women, I deny it. The right of suffrage is one to be determined by
expediency and by policy, and given by the State to whom it pleases.
It is not a natural right; it is a right that comes from the state.
It is claimed that if the suffrage be given to women it is to protect
them. Protect them from whom? The brute that would invade their rights
would coerce the suffrage of his wife, or sister, or mother as he
would wring from her the hard earnings of her toil to gratify his own
beastly appetites and passions.
It is said that the suffrage is to be given to enlarge the sphere of
woman's influence. Mr. President, it would destroy her influence.
It would take her down from that pedestal where she is to-day,
influencing as a mother the minds of her offspring, influencing by her
gentle and kindly caress the action of her husband toward the good and
But I rise not to discuss this question, but to discharge a request.
I know that when a man attacks this claim for woman suffrage he is
sneered at and ridiculed as afraid to meet women in the contests for
political honor and supremacy. If so, I oppose to the request of these
ladies the arguments of their own sex; but first, I ask the Secretary
to read a paper which has been sent to me with a request that I place
it before the Senate.
The Chief Clerk read as follows:
_To the honorable Senate and House of Representatives_:
We, the undersigned, respectfully remonstrate against the further
extension of suffrage to women.
R.M. Morse, jr.
Charles A. Welch.
Francis Parkman, LL.D.
Thomas Bailey Aldrich.
Charles H. Dalton.
W. Endicott, jr.
Hon. John Lowell.
William G. Russell.
John C. Ropes.
Robert D. Smith.
George A. Gardner.
F. Haven, jr.
W. Powell Mason.
Charles W. Eliot, president, Harvard University.
Prof. C.F. Dunbar.
Prof. J.P. Cook.
Prof. J. Lovering.
Prof. W.W. Goodwin.
Prof. Francis Bowen.
Prof. Wolcott Gibbs.
Prof. F.J. Child.
Prof. John Trowbridge.
Prof. G.I. Goodale.
Prof. J.B. Greenough.
Prof. H.W. Torrey.
Prof. J.H. Thayer.
Prof. E.W. Gurney.
Hon. W.E. Russell.
James C. Fiske.
T. Jefferson Coolidge.
Augustus P. Loring.
Rev. J.P. Bodfish, chancellor, Cathedral Holy Cross.
Rt. Rev. B.H. Paddock, bishop of Massachusetts.
Rev. Henry M. Dexter.
Rev. H. Brooke Herford.
Rev. O.B. Frothingham.
Rev. Ellis Wendell.
Rev. Geo. F. Staunton.
Rev. A.H. Heath.
Rev. W.H. Dowden.
Rev. J.B. Seabury.
Rev. C. Woodworth.
Rev. Leonard K. Storrs.
Rev. Howard N. Brown.
Rev. Edward J. Young.
Rev. Andrew P. Peabody.
Rev. George Z. Gray.
Rev. William Lawrence.
Rev. E.H. Hall.
Rev. Nicholas Hoppin.
Rev. David G. Haskins.
Rev. L.S. Crawford.
Rev. J.I.T. Coolidge.
Rev. Henry A. Hazen.
Rev. F.H. Hedge.
Rev. H.A. Parker.
Rev. Asa Bullard.
Rev. Alexander McKenzie.
Rev. J.F. Spaulding.
Rev. S.K. Lothrop.
Rev. E. Osborne, S.S.J.E.
Rev. Leighton Parks.
Rev. H.W. Foote.
Rev. Morton Dexter.
Rev. David H. Brewer.
Rev. Judson Smith.
Rev. L.W. Shearman.
Rev. Charles F. Dole.
Rev. George M. Boynton.
Rev. D.W. Waldron.
Rev. John A. Hamilton.
Rev. Isaac P. Langworthy.
Rev. E.K. Alden.
Rev. E.E. Strong.
Rev. M.D. Bisbee.
Rev. Oliver S. Dean.
Charles A. Cummings.
Hon. S.C. Cobb.
John C. Gray.
Hon. George G. Crocker.
J.T.G. Nichols, M.D.
C.E. Vaughan, M.D.
John Homans, M.D.
Charles F. Walcott.
Charles Theodore Russell.
Clement L. Smith.
Hon. R.R. Bishop.
Charles R. Codman.
Darwin E. Ware.
Arthur E. Thayer.
Richard H. Dana.
Edward L. Geddings.
William V. Hutchings.
John L. Gardner.
Samuel Carr, jr.
J. Randolph Coolidge.
J. Eliot Cabot.
Fred. Law Olmstead.
Charles S. Sargent.
Charles F. Shimmin.
Alfred D. Hurd.
Edward I. Brown.
Thomas Weston, jr.
Richard M. Hodges, M.D.
Henry J. Bigelow, M.D.
Charles D. Homans, M.D.
George H. Lyman, M.D.
John Dixwell, M.D.
Edward L. Beard.
John Boyle O'Reilly.
Horace P. Chandler.
George O. Shattuck.
Hon. Alex. H. Rice.
Henry Cabot Lodge.
Francis Peabody, jr.
Jacob C. Rogers.
Forrest E. Barker.
John D. Wasbburn.
Fred L. Ames.
Hon. A.P. Martin.
Mr. DOLPH. If the Senator from Missouri will permit me, those names
sounded very much like the names of men.
Mr. VEST. They are men's names. I did not say that the petition was
signed by ladies. I referred to the papers in my hand, which I shall
proceed to lay before the Senate.
I hold in my hand an argument against woman suffrage by a lady very
well known in the United States, and well known to the Senators from
Massachusetts, a lady whose philanthropy, whose exertions in behalf
of the oppressed and poor and afflicted have given her a national
reputation. I refer to Mrs. Clara T. Leonard, the wife of a
distinguished lawyer, and whose words of themselves will command the
attention of the public.
The Chief Clerk read as follows:
[Letter from Mrs. Clara T. Leonard.]
The following letter was read by Thornton K. Lothrop, esq., at
the hearing before the Legislative committee on woman suffrage,
January 29, 1884:
The principal reasons assigned for giving suffrage to women are
That the right to vote is a natural and inherent right of which
women are deprived by the tyranny of men.
That the fact that the majority of women do not wish for the right
or privilege to vote is not a reason for depriving the minority of
an inborn right.
That women are taxed but not represented, contrary to the
principles of free government.
That society would gain by the participation of women in
government, because women are purer and more conscientious than
men, and especially that the cause of temperance would be promoted
by women's votes.
Those women who are averse to female suffrage hold differing
opinions on all these points, and are entitled to be heard
fairly and without unjust reproach and contempt on the part of
"suffragists," so called.
The right to vote is not an inherent right, but, like the right to
hold land, is conferred upon individuals by general consent, with
certain limitations, and for the general good of all.
It is as true to say that the earth was made for all its
inhabitants, and that human has a right to appropriate a portion
of its surface, as to say that all persons have a right to
participate in government. Many persons can be found to hold both
these opinions. Experience has proved that the general good is
promoted by ownership of the soil, with the resultant inducement
to its improvement.
Voting is simply a mathematical test of strength. Uncivilized
nations strive for mastery by physical combat, thus wasting life
and resources. Enlightened societies agree to determine the
relative strength of opposing parties by actual count. God has
made women weaker than men, incapable of taking part in battles,
indisposed to make riot and political disturbance.
The vote which, in the hand of a man, is a "possible bayonet,"
would not, when thrown by a woman, represent any physical power to
enforce her will. If all the women in the State voted in one way,
and all the men in the opposite one, the women, even if in the
majority, would not carry the day, because the vote would not be
an estimate of material strength and the power to enforce the
will of the majority. When one considers the strong passions and
conflicts excited in elections, it is vain to suppose that the
really stronger would yield to the weaker party.
It is no more unjust to deprive women of the ballot than to
deprive minors, who outnumber those above the age of majority, and
who might well claim, many of them, to be as well able to decide
political questions as their elders.
If the majority of women are either not desirous to vote or are
strongly opposed to voting, the minority should yield in this, as
they are obliged to do in all other public matters. In fact, they
will be obliged to yield, so long as the present state of opinion
exists among women in general, for legislators will naturally
consult the wishes of the women of their own families and
neighborhood, and be governed by them. There can be no doubt that
in this State, where women are highly respected and have great
influence, the ballot would be readily granted to them by men, if
they desired it, or generally approved of woman suffrage. Women
are taxed, it is true; so are minors, without the ballot; it is
untrue, to say that either class is not represented. The thousand
ties of relationship and friendship cause the identity of interest
between the sexes. What is good in a community for men, is good
also for their wives and sisters, daughters and friends. The laws
of Massachusetts discriminate much in favor of women, by exempting
unmarried women of small estate from taxation; by allowing women,
and not men, to acquire a settlement without paying a tax; by
compelling husbands to support their wives, but exempting the
wife, even when rich, from supporting an indigent husband; by
making men liable for debts of wives, and not _vice versa_. In the
days of the American Revolution, the first cause of complaint was,
that a whole people were taxed but not represented.
To-day there is not a single interest of woman which is not
shared and defended by men, not a subject in which she takes an
intelligent interest in which she cannot exert an influence in the
community proportional to her character and ability. It is because
the men who govern live not in a remote country, with separate
interests, but in the closest relations of family and
neighborhood, and bound by the tenderest ties to the other sex,
who are fully and well represented by relations, friends, and
neighbors in every locality. That women are purer and more
conscientious than men, as a sex, is exceedingly doubtful when
applied to politics. The faults of the sexes are different,
according to their constitution and habits of life. Men are more
violent and open in their misdeeds, but any person who knows human
nature well and has examined it in its various phases knows that
each sex is open to its peculiar temptation and sin; that the
human heart is weak and prone to evil without distinction of sex.
It seems certain that, were women admitted to vote and to hold
political office, all the intrigue, corruption, and selfishness
displayed by men in political life would also be found among
women. In the temperance cause we should gain little or nothing by
admitting women to vote, for two reasons: first, that experience
has proved that the strictest laws can not be enforced if a great
number of people determine to drink liquor; secondly, because
among women voters we should find in our cities thousands of
foreign birth who habitually drink beer and spirits daily without
intoxication, and who regard license or prohibitory laws as an
infringement of their liberty. It has been said that municipal
suffrage for women in England has proved a political success. Even
if this is true, it offers no parallel to the condition of things
in our own cities. First, because there is in England a property
qualification required to vote, which excludes the more ignorant
and irresponsible classes, and makes women voters few and
generally intelligent; secondly, because England is an old,
conservative country, with much emigration and but little
Here is a constant influx of foreigners: illiterate, without love
of our country or interest in, or knowledge of, the history of our
liberties, to whom, after a short residence, we give a full share
in our government. The result begins to be alarming--enormous
taxation, purchasable votes, demagogism,--all these alarm the
more thoughtful, and we are not yet sure of the end. It is a wise
thought that the possible bayonet or ruder weapon in the hands
of our new citizens would be even worse than the ballot, and our
safer course is to give the immigrants a stake and interest in
the government. But when we learn that on an average one thousand
immigrants per week landed at the port of Boston in the past
calendar year, is it not well to consider carefully how we double,
and more than double, the popular vote, with all its dangers and
its ingredients of ignorance and irresponsibility. Last of all, it
must be considered that the lives of men and women are essentially
One sex lives in public, in constant conflict with the world; the
other sex must live chiefly in private and domestic life, or
the race will be without homes and gradually die out. If nearly
one-half of the male voters of our State forego their duty or
privilege, as is the fact, what proportion of women would exercise
the suffrage? Probably a very small one. The heaviest vote would
be in the cities, as now, and the ignorant and unfit women would
be the ready prey of the unscrupulous demagogue. Women do not hold
a position inferior to men. In this land they have the softer
side of life--the best of everything. There are, of course,
exceptions--individuals--whose struggle in life is hard, whose
husbands and fathers are tyrants instead of protectors; so there
are bad wives, and men ruined and disheartened by selfish, idle
The best work that a woman can do for the purifying of politics is
by her influence over men, by the wise training of her children,
by her intelligent, unselfish counsel to husband, brother, or
friend, by a thorough knowledge and discussion of the needs of her
community. Many laws on the statute-books of our own and other
States have been the work of women. More might be added.
It is the opinion of many of us that woman's power is greater
without the ballot or possibility of office-holding for gain. When
standing outside of politics she discusses great questions upon
their merit. Much has been achieved by women in the anti-slavery
cause, the temperance cause, the improvement of public and private
charities, the reformation of criminals, all by intelligent
discussion and influence upon men. Our legislators have been ready
to listen to women and carry out their plans when well framed.
Women can do much useful public service upon boards of education,
school committees, and public charities, and are beginning to
do such work. It is of vital importance to the integrity of our
charitable and educational administration that it be kept out of
politics. Is it not well that we should have one sex who have no
political ends to serve who can fill responsible positions of
public trust? Voting alone can easily be exercised by women
without rude contact, but to attain any political power women must
affiliate themselves with men; because women will differ on
public questions, must attend primary meetings and caucuses, will
inevitably hold public office and strive for it; in short, women
must enter the political arena. This result will be repulsive to a
large portion of the sex, and would tend to make women unfeminine
and combative, which would be a detriment to society.
It is well that men after the burden and heat of the day should
return to homes where the quiet side of life is presented to them.
In these peaceful New England homes of ours, great and noble men
have been raised by wise and pious mothers, who instructed them,
not in politics, but in those general principles of justice,
integrity, and unselfishness which belong to and will insure
statesmanship in the men who are true to them. Here is the
stronghold of the sex, weakest in body, powerful for good or evil
over the stronger one, whom women sway and govern, not by the
ballot and by greater numbers but by those gentle influences
designed by the Creator to soften and subdue man's ruder nature.
CLARA T. LEONARD.
Mr. HOAR. The Senator from Missouri has alluded to me in connection
with the name of this lady. Perhaps he will allow me to make an
additional statement to that which I furnished him, in order that the
statement about her may be complete.
All that the Senator from Missouri has said of the character and worth
of Mrs. Leonard is true. I do not know her personally. Her husband is
my respected personal friend, a lawyer of high standing and character.
All that the Senator has said of her ability is proved better than by
any other testimony, by the very able and powerful letter which has
just been read. But Mrs. Leonard herself is the strongest refutation
of her own argument.
Politics, the political arena, political influence, political action
in this country consists, I suppose, in two things: one of them the
being intrusted with the administration of public affairs, and second,
having the vote counted in determining who shall be public servants,
and what public measures shall prevail in the commonwealth. Now, this
lady was intrusted for years with one of the most important public
functions ever exercised by any human being in the commonwealth
of Massachusetts. We have a board, called the board of lunacy and
charity, which controls the large charities for which Massachusetts
is famous and in many of which she was the first among civilized
communities, for the care of the pauper and the insane and the
criminal woman, and the friendless and the poor child. It is one
of the most important things, except the education of youth, which
A little while ago a political campaign in Massachusetts turned upon a
charge which her governor made against the people of the commonwealth
in regard to the conduct of the great hospital at Tewksbury, where
she was charged by her chief executive magistrate with making sale of
human bodies, with cruelty to the poor and defenseless; and not only
the whole country, but especially the whole people of Massachusetts,
were stirred to the very depths of their souls by that accusation.
Mrs. Clara T. Leonard, the writer of this letter, came forward and
informed the people that she had been one of the board who had managed
that institution for years, that she knew all about it through and
through, that the accusation was false and a slander; and before her
word and her character the charge of that distinguished governor went
down and sunk into merited obscurity and ignominy.
Now, the question is whether the lady who can be intrusted with the
charge of one of the most important departments of government, and
whose judgment in regard to its character or proper administration is
to be taken as gospel by the people where her reputation extends, is
not fit to be trusted to have her vote counted when the question
is who is to be the next person who is to be trusted with that
administration. Mrs. Leonard's mistake is not in misunderstanding the
nature either of woman or of man, which she understands perfectly; it
is in misunderstanding the nature of politics, that is, the political
arena; and this lady has been in the political arena for the last
ten years of her life, one of the most important and potent forces
It is true, as she says, that the wife and the mother educate the
child and the man, and when the great function of the state, as we
hold in our State and as is fast being held everywhere, is also the
education of the child and the man, how does it degrade that wife and
mother, whose important function it is to do this thing, to utter
her voice and have her vote counted in regard to the methods and the
policies by which that education shall be conducted?
Why, Mr. President, Mrs. Leonard says in that letter that woman, the
wife and the maiden and the daughter, has no political ends to serve.
If political ends be to desire office for the greed of gain, if
political ends be to get an unjust power over other men, if political
ends be to get political office by bribery or by mob violence or by
voting through the shutter of a beer-house, that is true: but the
persons who are in favor of this measure believe that those very
things that Mrs. Leonard holds up as the proper ends in the life of
women are political ends and nothing else; that the education of the
child, that the preservation of the purity of the home, that the care
for the insane and the idiot and the blind and the deaf and the ruined
and deserted, are not only political ends but are the chief political
ends for which this political body, the state, is created: and those
who desire the help of women in the administration of the state desire
it because of the ability which could write such a letter as that on
the wrong side, and because the qualities of heart and brain which God
has given to understand this class of political ends better than He
has given it to the masculine heart and brain are needed for their
I have no word of disrespect for Mrs. Leonard, but I say that, in
spite of herself and her letter, her life and her character are the
most abundant and ample refutation of the belief which she erroneously
thinks she entertains. Nobody invites these ladies to a contest of
bayonets; nobody who believes that government is a matter of mere
physical force asks the co-operation of woman in its administration.
It is because government is a conflict of such arguments as that
letter states on the one side, because the object of government is the
object to which this lady's own life is devoted, that the friends of
woman suffrage and of this amendment ask that it shall be adopted.
Mr. VEST. Mr. President, my great personal respect for the Senator
from Massachusetts has given me an interval of enforced silence, and I
have only to say that if I should print my desultory remarks I should
be compelled to omit his interruption for fear that the amendment
would be larger than the original bill. [Laughter.]
I fail to see that anything which has fallen from the distinguished
Senator has convicted Mrs. Clara Leonard of inconsistency or has added
anything to the argument upon his side of the question. I have
never said or intimated that there were women who were not credible
witnesses. I have never thought or intimated that there were not women
who were competent to administer the affairs of State or even to lead
armies. There have been such women, and I believe there will be to the
end of time, as there have been effeminate men who have been better
adapted to the distaff and the spindle than to the sword or to
statesmanship. But these are exceptions in either sex.
If this lady have, as she unquestionably has, the strength of
intellect conceded to her by the Senator from Massachusetts and
evidenced by her own production, her judgment of woman is worth that
of a continent of men. The best judge of any woman is a woman. The
poorest judge of any woman is a man. Let any woman with defect or flaw
go amongst a community of men and she will be a successful impostor.
Let her go amongst a community of women and in one instant the
instinct, the atmosphere circumambient, will tell her story.
Mrs. Leonard gives us the result of her opinion and of her experience
as to whether this right of suffrage should be conferred upon her
own sex. The Senator from Massachusetts speaks of her evidence in a
political campaign in Massachusetts and that her unaided and single
evidence crushed down the governor of that great State. I thank the
Senator for that statement. If Mrs. Leonard had been an office-holder
and a voter not a single township would have believed the truth of
what she uttered.
Mr. HOAR. She was an office-holder, and the governor tried to put her
Mr. VEST. Ah! but what sort of an office-holder? She held the office
delegated to her by God himself, a ministering angel to the sick, the
afflicted, and the insane. What man in his senses would take from
woman this sphere? What man would close to her the charitable
institutions and eleemosynary establishments of the country? That is
part of her kingdom; that is part of her undisputed sway and realm. Is
that the office to which woman suffragists of this country ask us now
to admit them? Is it to be the director of a hospital? Is it to the
presidency of a board of visitors of an eleemosynary institution? Oh,
no; they want to be Presidents, to be Senators, and Members of the
House of Representatives, and, God save the mark, ministerial and
executive officers, sheriffs, constables, and marshals.
Of course, this lady is found in this board of directors. Where else
should a true woman be found? Where else has she always been found but
by the fevered brow, the palsied hand, the erring intellect, ay, God
bless them, from the cradle to the grave the guide and support of the
faltering steps of childhood and the weakening steps of old age!
Oh, no, Mr. President; this will not do. If we are to tear down all
the blessed traditions, if we are to desolate our homes and firesides,
if we are to unsex our mothers and wives and sisters and turn our
blessed temples of domestic peace into ward political-assembly rooms,
pass this joint resolution. But for one I thank God that I am so
old-fashioned that I would not give one memory of my grandmother or my
mother for all the arguments that could be piled, Pelion upon Ossa, in
favor of this political monstrosity.
I now propose to read from a pamphlet sent to me by a lady whom I
am not able to characterize as a resident of any State, although I
believe she resides in the State of Maine. I do not know whether she
be wife or mother. She signs this pamphlet as Adeline D.T. Whitney. I
have read it twice, and read it to pure and gentle and intellectual
women. I say to-day it ought to be in every household in this broad
land. It ought to be the domestic gospel of every true, gentle,
loving, virtuous woman upon all this continent. There is not one line
or syllable in it that is not written in letters of gold. I shall not
read it, for my strength does not suffice, nor will the patience of
the Senate permit, but from beginning to end it breathes the womanly
sentiment which has made pure and great men and gentle and loving
I will venture to say, in my great admiration and respect for this
woman, whether she be married or single, she ought to be a wife, and
ought to be a mother. Such a woman could only have brave and wise men
for sons and pure and virtuous women for daughters. Here is her advice
to her sex. I am only sorry that every word of it could not be read in
the Senate, but I have trespassed too long.
Mr. COCKRELL. Let it be printed in your remarks.
Mr. VEST. I shall ask that it be printed. I will undertake, however,
to read only a few sentences, not of exceptional superiority to the
rest, because every sentence is equal to every other. There is not one
impure unintellectual aspiration or thought throughout the whole of
it. Would to God that I knew her, that I could thank her on behalf of
the society and politics of the United States for this production.
She says to her own sex--
After all, men work for women; or, if they think they do not, it
would leave them but sorry satisfaction to abandon them to such
existence as they could arrange without us.
Oh, how true that is; how true!
In blessed homes, or in scattered dissipations of show, amusement, or
the worse which these shows and amusements are but terribly akin to,
women give purpose to and direct the results of all men's work. If
the false standards of living first urge them, until at length the
horrible intoxication of the game itself drives them on further and
deeper, are we less responsible for the last state of those men than
for the first?
Do you say, if good women refused these things and tried for a simpler
and truer living, there are plenty of bad ones who would take them
anyhow, and supply the motive to deeper and more unmitigated evil? Ah,
there come both answer and errand again. Raise the fallen--at
least, save the growing womanhood--stop the destruction that rushes
accelerating on, before you challenge new difficulty and danger with
an indiscriminate franchise. Are not these bad women the very "plenty"
that would out-balance you at the polls if you persist in trying the
"patch-and-plaster" remedy of suffrage and legislation.
Recognize the fact, the law, that your power, your high commission, is
inward, vital, formative and causal. Bring all questions of choice
or duty to this test; will it work at the heart of things, among the
realities and forces? Try your own life by this; remember that mere
external is falsehood and death. The letter killeth. Give up all that
is only of the appearance, or even chiefly so, in conscious
delight and motive--in person, surrounding, pursuit. Let your
self-presentation, your home-making and adorning, your social effort
and interest, your occupation and use of talent, all shape and issue
for the things that are essentially and integrally good, and that the
world needs to have prevail. Until you can do this, and induce such
doing, it is of little use to clamor for mere outward right or to
contend that it would be rightly applied.
This whole pamphlet is a magnificent illustration of that stupendous
and vital truth that the mission and sphere of woman is in the inward
life of man; that she must be the building up and governing power that
comes from those better impulses, those inward secrets of the heart
and sentiment that govern men to do all that is good and pure and holy
and keep them from all that is evil.
Mr. President, the emotions of women govern. What would be the result
of woman suffrage if applied to the large cities of this country is a
matter of speculation. What women have done in times of turbulence and
excitement in large cities in the past we know. Open that terrible
page of the French Revolution and the days of terror, when the click
of the guillotine and the rush of blood through the streets of Paris
demonstrated to what extremities the ferocity of human nature can be
driven by political passion. Who led those blood-thirsty mobs? Who
shrieked loudest in that hurricane of passion? Woman. Her picture upon
the pages of history to-day is indelible. In the city of Paris in
those ferocious mobs the controlling agency, nay, not agency, but the
controlling and principal power, came from those whom God has intended
to be the soft and gentle angels of mercy throughout the world. But I
have said more than I intended. I ask that this pamphlet be printed in
The PRESIDING OFFICER. If there be no objection, the pamphlet will be
printed in the RECORD as requested by the Senator from Missouri. The
Chair hears no objection.
The pamphlet is as follows:
THE LAW OF WOMAN-LIFE.
The external arguments on both sides the modern woman question
have been pretty thoroughly presented and well argued. It seems
needless to repeat or recombine them; but in one relation they
have scarcely been handled with any direct purpose. Justice and
expediency have been the points insisted on or contested; these
have not gone back far enough; they have not touched the central
fact, to set it forth in its force and finality. The fact is
original and inherent, behind and at the root of the entire
matter, with all its complication and circumstance. We have to ask
a question to which it is the answer, and whose answer is that of
the whole doubt and dispute.
What is the law of woman-life?
What was she made woman for, and not man?
Shall we look back to that old third chapter of Genesis?
When mankind had taken the knowledge and power of good and evil
into their own hands through the mere earthly wisdom of the
serpent; when the woman had had her hasty outside way and lead,
according to the story, and woe had come of it, what was the
sentence? And was it a penance, or a setting right, or a promise,
or all three?
The serpent was first dealt with. The narrow policy, the keen
cunning, the little, immediate outlook, the expedient motive; all
that was impersonated of temporary shift and outward prudence
in mortal affairs, regardless of, or blind to, the everlasting
issues; all, in short, that represented material and temporal
interest as a rule and order--and is not man's external
administration upon the earth largely forced to be a legislation
upon these principles and economies?--was disposed of with the few
words, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman."
Was this punishment--as reflected upon the woman--or the power of
a grand retrieval for her? Not to man, who had been led, and who
would be led again, by the woman, was the commission of holy
revenge intrusted; but henceforth, "I will set the woman against
thee." Against the very principle and live prompting of evil, or
of mere earthly purpose and motive. "Between thy seed and her
seed." Your struggle with her shall be in and for the very life of
the race. "It," her life brought forth, "shall bruise thy head,"
thy whole power, and plan, and insidious cunning; "and thou shall
bruise," shalt sting, torment, hinder, and trouble in the way
and daily going, "his heel," his footstep. Thou, the subtle and
creeping thing of the ground, shalt lurk after and threaten with
crookedness and poison the ways of the men-children in their
earth-toiling; the woman, the mother, shall turn upon thee for and
in them and shall beat thee down!
Unto the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and
thy conception." The burden and the glory are set in one. The
pain of the world shall be in your heart; the trouble, the
contradiction of it, shall be against your love and insight. But
your pain shall be your power; you shall be the life-bearer;
you shall hold the motive; yours shall be the desire, and your
husband's the dominion. Therefore shall you bring your aspiration
to him, that he may fulfill it for you. "Your desire shall be unto
him, and he shall rule."
And unto Adam He said, "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice
of thy wife"--yes, and because thou wilt hearken--"thy sorrow
shall be in the labor of the earth; the ground shall be cursed;"
in all material things shall be cross and trouble, not against
you, but "for your sake." "In your sorrow you shall eat of it
all the days of your life." Your need and struggle shall be with
external things, and with the ruling of them. "For your sake,"
that you may learn your mastery, inherit your true power, carry
out with ease and understanding the desire and need of the race,
which woman represents, discerns afar, and pleads to you.
And Adam bowed before the Lord's judgment; we are not told that he
answered anything to that; but he turned to his wife, and in that
moment "called her name Eve, because she was the mother of all
living." Then and there was the division made; and to which, can
we say, was the empire given? Both were set in conditions, hemmed
in to divine and special work: man, by the stress and sorrow of
the ground; woman, by the stress and sorrow of her maternity, and
of her spiritual conception, making her truly the "mother of all
At the beginning of human history, or tradition, then, we get
the answer to our question: the law of woman-life is central,
interior, and from the heart of things; the law of the man's life
is circumferential, enfolding, shaping, bearing on and around,
outwardly; wheel within wheel is the constitution of human power.
It will be an evil day for the world when the nave shall leave its
place and contend for that of the felloe. Iron-rimmed for its busy
revolution and outward contact is the life and strength of man;
but the tempered steel is at the heart and within the soul of the
woman, that she may bear the silent pressure of the axle, and
quietly and invisibly originate and support the entire onward
movement. "The spirit of the living creature is in the wheels,"
and they can move no otherwise. "When the living creatures went,
the wheels went by them; and when the living creatures were lifted
up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up." That was what
Ezekiel saw in his vision.
There can he no going forward without a life and presence and
impulse at the center; and in the organization of humanity there
is where the place and power of woman have been put. For good or
for evil, for the serpent or for the redeeming Christ, she must
move, must influence, must achieve beforehand, and at the heart;
she must be the mother of the race; she must be the mother of the
Messiah. Not woman in her own person, but "one born of woman," is
the Saviour. For everything that is formed of the Creator, from
the unorganized stone to the thought of righteousness in the heart
of the race, there must be a matrix; in the creation and in the
recreation of His human child God makes woman and the soul of
woman His blessed organ and instrument. When woman clears herself
of her own perversions, her self-imposed limitations, returns to
her spiritual power and place, and cries, "Behold the handmaid of
the Lord; be it unto me according to Thy word," then shall the
spirit descend unto her; then shall come the redemption.
Take this for the starting-point; it is the key.
Within, behind, antecedent to all result in action, are the
place and office of the woman--by the law of woman-life. And all
question of her deed and duty should be brought to this test. Is
it of her own, interior, natural relation, putting her at her true
advantage, harmonious with the key to which her life is set? I
think this suffrage question must settle itself precisely upon
this ground-principle, and that all argument should range
conclusively around it. Judging so, we should find, I think, that
not at the polls, where the last utterance of a people's voice
is given--where the results of character, and conscience, and
intelligence are shown--is her best and rightful work: on the
contrary, that it is useless here, unless first done elsewhere.
But where little children learn to think and speak--where men love
and listen, and the word is forming--is the office she has to
fill, the errand she has to do. The question is, can she do both?
Is there need that she should do both? Does not the former and
greater include the latter and less?
Hers are indeed the primary meetings: in her nursery, her home,
and social circles; with other women, with young men, upon whose
tone and character in her maturity her womanhood and motherhood
join their beautiful and mighty influence; above all, among young
girls--the "little women," to whom the ensign and commission are
descending--is her undisputed power. Purify politics? Purify the
sewers? But what if, first, the springs, and reservoirs, and
conduits could be watched, guarded, filtered, and then the using
be made clean and careful all through the homes; a better system
devised and carried out for separating, neutralizing, destroying
hurtful refuse? Then the poisonous gases might not be creeping
back upon us through our enforced economies, our makeshifts and
stop-gaps of outside legislation. For legislation is, after all,
but cut-off, curb, and patch; an external, troublesome, partial,
uncertain application of hindrance and remedy. What physician will
work with lotion and plaster when he can touch, and control, and
heal at the very seat of the disease?
It is the beginning of the fulfillment that women have waked to
the consciousness that they have not as yet filled their full
place in human life and affairs. Only has not the mistake been
made of contending with and grappling results, when causes were in
their hands? Have they not let go the mainsprings to run after
and effectually push with pins the refractory cogs upon the
Woman always deserts herself when she puts her life and motive
and influence in mere outsides. Outsides of fashion and place,
outsides of charm and apparel, outsides of work and ambition--she
must learn that these are not her true showing; she must go hack
and put herself where God has called her to be with Himself, at
the silent, holy inmost; then we shall feel, if not at once, yet
surely soon or some time, a new order beginning. He, the Father
of all, gives it to us to be the motherhood. That is the great
solving and upraising word; not limited to mere parentage, but the
law of woman-life. For good or for evil she mothers the world.
Not all are called to motherhood in the literal sense, but all
are called to the great, true motherhood in some of its manifold
trusts and obligations. "_Noblesse oblige_;" you can not lay it
down. "More are the children of the desolate than of her who hath
a husband." All the little children that are born must look to
womanhood somewhere for mothering. Do they all get it? All the
works and policies of men look back somewhere for a true "desire"
toward and by which only they can rule. Is the desire of the
woman--of the home, the mother-motive of the world and human
living--kept in the integrity and beauty for which it was
intrusted to her, that it might move the power of man to noble
Do you ask the governing of the nation? You have the making of
the nation. Would you choose your statesmen? First make your
Indeed the whole cause on trial may be summarily ended by the
proving of an alibi, an elsewhere of demand. Is woman needed at
the caucuses, conventions, polls? She is needed, at the same time,
elsewhere. Two years of time and strength, of thought and love,
from some woman, are essential for every little human being, that
he may even begin a life. When you remember that every man is once
a little child, born of a woman, trained--or needing training--at
a woman's hands; that of the little men, every one of whom takes
and shapes his life so, come at length the hand for the helm, the
voice for the law, and the arm to enforce law--what do you want
more for a woman's opportunity and control?
Which would you choose as a force, an advantage, in settling
any question of public moment, or as touching your own private
interest through the general management--the right to go upon
election day and cast one vote, or a hold beforehand upon the
individual ear and attention of each voter now qualified? The
ability to present to him your argument, to show him the real
point at issue, to convince and persuade him of the right and
lasting, instead of the weak and briefly politic way? This initial
privilege is in the hands of woman; assuming that she can be
brought to feel and act as a unit, which appears to be what is
claimed for her in the argument for her regeneration of the outer
But already and separately, if every intelligent, conscientious
woman can but reach one man, and influence him from the principle
involved--from her interior perception of it, kept pure on purpose
from bias and temptation that assail him in the outside mix and
jostle--will she not have done her work without the casting of a
ballot? And what becomes of "taxation without representation,"
when, from Eden down, Eve can always plead with Adam, can have the
first word instead of the last--if she knows what that first word
is, in herself and thence in its power with him--can beguile him
to his good instead of to his harm, as indeed she only meant to do
in that first ignorant experiment? Would it be any less easy to
qualify for and accomplish this than to convince and outnumber in
public gathering not only bodies of men but the mass of women that
will also have to be confronted and convinced or overborne?
Preconceived opinions, minds made up, men not so easily beguiled
to the pure good, you say? Woman quite as apt to make mistakes out
of Paradise as in? That only returns us to the primal need and
opportunity. Get the man to listen to you before his mind is made
up--before his manhood is made up; while it is in the making. That
is just the power and place that belong to you, and you must seize
and fill. It is your natural right; God gave it to you. "The seed
of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head."
We can not do all in one day, and in such a day of the world as
this. We plant trees for posterity where forests have been laid
waste and the beautiful work of life is to be done over again; we
can not expect to see our fruit in souls and in the nation at less
cost of faith and time. Take care, then, of the little children:
the men children, to make men of them; the women children--oh,
yes, even above all--to make ready for future mothering--to snatch
from the evil that works over against pure womanliness. Until you
have done this let men fend for themselves in rough outsides a
little longer; except, perhaps, as wise, able women whom the
trying transition time calls forth may find fit way and place for
effort and protest--there is always room for that, and noble work
has been and is being done; but do not rear a new generation of
women to expect and desire charges and responsibilities reversive
of their own life-law, through whose perfect fulfillment alone may
the future clean place be made for all to work in.
Is there excess of female population? Can not all expect the
direct rule of a home? Is not this exactly, perhaps, just now,
for the more universal remedial mothering that in this age is the
thing immediately needed? Let her who has no child seek where she
can help the burdened mother of many; how she can best reach with
influence, and wisdom, and cherishing, the greatest number--or
most efficiently a few--of these dear, helpless, terrible little
souls, who are to make, in a few years, a new social condition; a
better and higher, happier and safer, or a lower, worse, bitterer,
more desperately complicated and distressful one.
"Desire earnestly the best gifts," said Saint Paul, after
enumerating the gifts of teaching and prophecy and authority; "and
I show you," he goes on, "a yet more excellent way." Charity--not
mere alms, or toleration, or general benignity, out of a safe
self-provision; but _caritas_--nearness, and caring, and
loving,--the very essence of mothering; the way to and hold of
the heart of it all, the heart of the life of humanity. "Keep thy
heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."
That is the first word; it charges womanhood itself, which must be
set utterly right before it can take hold to right the world. Here
are at once task and mission and rewarding sway.
Woman has got off the track; she must see that first, and replace
herself. We are mothering the world still; but we are mothering
it, in a fearfully wide measure, all wrong.
Sacrifice is the beginning of all redemption. We must give up. We
must even give up the wish and seeming to have a hand in things,
that we may work unseen in the elements, and make them fit and
healthful; that daily bread and daily life may be sweet again
in dear, old, homely ways, and plentiful with all truly blessed
opportunities. We are not to organize the world, or to conquer it,
or to queen it. We are just to take it again and mother it. If
woman would begin that, search out the cradles--of life and
character--and take care of the whole world of fifty years hence
in taking care of them, calling upon men and the state, when
needful, to authorize her action and furnish outward means for
it--I wonder what might come, as earnest of good, even in this our
day, in which we know not our visitation?
And here again come allowance and exception for what women can
always do when this world-mothering forces an appeal to the
strength and authority of man. Women have never been prevented
from doing their real errands in the world, even outside the
domestic boundary. They have defended their husbands' castles in
the old chivalrous times, when the male chivalry was away at the
crusades. They have headed armies when Heaven called them; only
Heaven never called all the women at once; but when the king was
crowned, the mission done, they have turned back with desire to
their sheltered, gentle, unobtrusive life again. There has no
business to be a standing army of women; not even a standing
political army. Women have navigated and brought home ships when
commanders have died or been stricken helpless upon the ocean;
they have done true, intelligent, patient work for science, art,
religion; and those have done the most who have never stopped to
contend first, whether a woman, as such, may do it or not.
Look at what Dorothea Dix has done, single-handed, single-mouthed,
in asylums and before legislatures. Women have sat on thrones, and
governed kingdoms well, when that was the station in life to which
God called them. If Victoria of England has been anything, she has
been the mother of her land; she has been queen and protecting
genius of its womanhood and homes. And when a woman does these
things, as called of God--not talks of them, as to whether she may
make claim to do them--she carries a weight from the very sanctity
out of which she steps, as woman, that moves men unlike the moving
of any other power. Shall she resign the chance of doing really
great things, of meeting grand crises, by making herself common in
ward-rooms and at street-corners, and abolishing the perfect idea
of home by no longer consecrating herself to it?
If individual woman, as has been said, may gain and influence
individual man, and so the man-power in affairs--a body of women,
purely as such, with cause, and plea, and reason, can always have
the ear and attention of bodies of men; but to do this they must
come straight from their home sanctities, as representing them--as
able to represent them otherwise than men, because of their
hearth-priestesshood; not as politicians, bred and hardened in the
That the family is the heart of the state, and that the state
is but the widened family, is the fact which the old vestal
consecration, power, and honor set forth and kept in mind.
The voice which has of late been so generally conceded to women in
town, decisions as regarding public schools, is an instance of the
fittingness of relegating to them certain interests of which they
should know more than men, because--applying the key-test with
which we have started--it has direct relation to and springs from
their motherhood. But can one help suggesting that if the movement
had been to place women, merely and directly, upon the committees,
by votes of men who saw that this work might be in great part best
done by them; if women had asked and offered for the place without
the jostle of the town-meeting, or putting in that wedge for
the ballot--the thing might have been as readily done, and the
objection, or political precedent, avoided.
It is not the real opportunity, when that arises or shows itself
in the line of her life-law, that is to be refused for woman. It
is the taking from internal power to add to external complication
of machinery and to the friction of strife. Let us just touch
upon some of the current arguments concerning these external
impositions which one set is demanding and the other entreating
If voting is to be the chief power in woman's hands, or even a
power of half the moment that is contended for it, it will grow to
be the motive and end, the all-absorbing object, with women that
it is with men.
The gubernatorial canvass, the presidential year, these will
interrupt and clog all home business, suspend decisions, paralyze
plans, as they do with men, or else we shall not be much, as
thorough politicians, after all. And if we talk of mending all
that, of putting politics in their right place, and governing
by pure principle instead of party trick, and stumping and
electioneering, we go back in effect to the acknowledgment that
only in the interior work, and behind politics, can women do
better things at all; which, precisely, was to be demonstrated.
Think, simply, of election day for women.
Would it be so invariably easy a thing for a home-keeper to do,
at the one opportunity of the year, or the four years, on a
particular day, her duty in this matter? It is easy to say that it
takes no more time than a hundred other things that some do; but
setting apart all the argument that previous time and strength
must have been spent in properly qualifying, how many of
the hundred other things are done now without interruption,
postponement, hindrance, through domestic contingencies? or are
there a hundred other things done when the home contingencies are
really met by a woman? A woman's life is not like a man's. That
a man's life may be--that he may transact his out-door business;
keep his hours and appointments; may cast his vote on election
day; may represent wife and children in all wherein the community
cares for, or might injure him and them--the woman, some woman,
must be at the home post, that the home order may go on, from
which he derives that command of time, and freedom from hindering
necessities, which leave him to his work. And so, as the old
proverb says, while man's work is from sun to sun--made definite,
a matter to which he can go forth, and from which he can come
in--a woman's work, of keeping the place of the forthgoing and
incoming, is never done, from the very nature and ceaseless
importance of it.
Must she go to the polls, sick or well, baby or no baby, servant
or no servant, strength or no strength, desire or no desire? If
she have cook and housemaid they are to go also, and number her
two to one, anyway; probably on election day, which they would
make a holiday, they would--as at other crises, of birth,
sickness, death, house-cleaning, which should occur in no
first-class families--come down upon her with their appropriate
_coup d'etat_, and "leave;" making the State-stroke, in this
instance, of scoring three votes, two dropped and one lost, for
the irrepressible side.
How will it be when Norah, and Maggie, and Katie have not only
their mass and confession, their Fourth-of-July and Christmas,
their mission-weeks, their social engagements and family plans,
and their appointments with their dress-makers, to curtail your
claims upon their bargained time and service, but their share in
the primary meetings and caucuses, committees, and torch-light
processions, and mass meetings? For what shall prevent the
excitements, the pleasurings, the runnings hither and thither,
that men delight in from following in the train of politics and
parties with the common woman? Perhaps it may even be discovered,
to the still further detriment of our already painfully hampered
and perplexed domestic system, that the pursuit of fun, votes,
offices, is more remunerative, as well as gentlewomanly--as
Micawber might express it--than the cleansing of pots and pans,
the weekly wash, or the watching of the roast. Perhaps in that
enfranchised day there will be no Katies and Maggies' and the
Norahs will know their place no more. Then the enlightened
womanhood may have to begin at the foundation and glorify the
kitchen again. And good enough for her, in the wide as well as
primitive sense of the phrase, and a grand turn in the history
that repeats itself toward the old, forgotten, peaceful side of
the cycle it may be!
But the argument does not rest upon any such points as these. It
rests upon the inside nature of a woman's work; upon the need
there is to begin again to-day at the heart of things and make
that right; upon the evident fact that this can be done none too
soon or earnestly, if the community and the country are not to
keep on in the broad way to a threatened destruction; and upon the
certainty that it can never be done unless it is done by woman,
and with all of woman's might. Not by struggles for new and
different place, but by the better, more loving, more intelligent,
deep-seeing, and deep-feeling filling of her own place, that none
will dispute and none can take from her. We are not where woman
was in the old brutal days that are so often quoted; and we shall
not, need not, return to that. Christianity has disposed of that
sort of argument. We are on a vantage ground for the doing of our
real, essential work better than it has been done ever before in
the history of the world; and we are madly leaving our work and
our vantage together.
The great step made by woman was in the generation preceding this
one of restlessness--the restlessness that has come through the
first feeling of great power. It was made in the time when women
learned physiology, that they might rear and nurse their families
and help their neighborhoods understandingly; science, that they
might teach and answer little children, and share the joy of
knowledge that was spreading swiftly in the earth; political
history and economy, that they might listen and talk to their
brothers and husbands and sons, and leaven the life of the age as
the bread in the mixing; business figures, rules, and principles,
that they might sympathize, counsel, help, and prudentially work
with and honestly strengthen the bread-winners. The good work was
begun in the schools where girls were first told, as George B.
Emerson used to tell us Boston girls, that we were learning
everything he could teach us, in order to be women: wives,
mothers, friends, social influencers, in the best and largest way
possible. Women grew strong and capable under such instruction and
motive. Are their daughters and grand-daughters about to leap
the fence, leave their own realm little cared for--or doomed to
be--undertake the whole scheme of outside creation, or contest
it with the men? Then God help the men! God save the Commonwealth!
We are past the point already where homes are suffering, or liable
to suffer, neglect or injury; they are already left unmade. Shall
this go on? Between frivolities and ambitions, between social
vanities, and shows, and public meddling's and mixings--for where
one woman is needed and doing really brave, true work, there are
a hundred rushing forth for the mere sake of rushing--is the
primitive home, the power of heaven upon earth to slip away from
among us? Let us not build outsides which have no insides, let us
not put a face upon things which has no reality behind it. Beware
lest we make the confusion that we need the suffrage to help us
unmake; lest we tear to pieces that we may patch again. Crazy
patchwork that would be, indeed!
Are women's votes required because men will not legislate away
evils that they do not heartily wish away? Is government
corrupted because men desire shield and opportunity for dishonest
speculation; authority and countenance for nefarious combinations?
The more need to go to work at the beginning rather than to plunge
into the pitch and be defiled; more need to make haste and educate
a better generation of men, if it be so we can not, except _vi et
armis_, influence the generation that is. But do you think that if
women are in earnest--enough in earnest to give up, as they seem
to be to demand--they might not bring their real power to bear
even upon these evil things, in their root and inception, and even
now? Suppose women would not live in houses, or wear jewels and
gowns, that are bought for them out of wicked millions made upon
the stock exchange?
Suppose they would stop decorating their dwellings to an agony,
crowding them hurriedly with this and that of the last and newest,
just because it is last and new, making a show and rivalry of
what is not a true-grown beauty of a home at all, but a mere
meretriciousness; suppose they would so set to work and change
society that displays and feastings, which use up at every
separate one a year's comfortable support for a quiet, modest
family, should be given up as vulgarities; that people should care
for, and be ready for, a true interchange of life and thought, and
simple, uncrowded opportunities for these; suppose women would
say, "No; I will not blaze at Newport, or run through Europe
dropping American eagles or English sovereigns after me like the
trail of a comet, or the crumbs that Hop-'o-my-thumb let fall from
his pocket that the people at home might track the way he had
gone; because if I have money, there is better work to be done
with it; and I will not have the money that is made by gambling
manipulations and cheats."
Do you think this would have no influence? More than that, and
further back, and lowlier down, suppose they should say, every
one, "I will not have the new, convenient house, the fresh
carpetings, the pretty curtains, or even the least, most fitting
freshness, until I know the means are earned for me with honest
service to the world, and by no lucky turn of even a small
speculation." Further back yet, suppose them to declare, "I will
not have the home at all, nor my own happiness, unless it can be
based and builded on the kind of life-work that helps to make a
real prosperity; that really goes to the building and safe-keeping
of a whole nation of such homes." Would there be no power in
that? Would it not be a kind of woman-suffrage to settle the very
initials of all that ever bears upon the public question? And to
bring that sort of woman on the stage, and to the front, is there
not enough work to do, and enough "higher education" to insist on
After all, men work for women; or, if they think they do not, it
would leave them but sorry satisfaction to abandon them to such
existence as they could arrange without us. In blessed homes, or
in scattered dissipations of show, amusement, or the worse which
these shows and amusements are but terribly akin to, women give
purpose to and direct the results of all men's work. If the false
standards of living first urge them, until at length the horrible
intoxication of the game itself drives them on further and deeper,
are we less responsible for the last state of those men than for
Do you say, if good women refused these things and tried for a
simpler and truer living, there are plenty of bad ones who would
take them anyhow, and supply the motive to deeper and more
unmitigated evil? Ah, there come both answer and errand again.
Raise the fallen--at least save the growing womanhood--stop the
destruction that rushes accelerating on, before you challenge new
difficulty and danger with an indiscriminate franchise. Are not
these bad women the very "plenty" that would out-balance you at
the polls, if you persist in trying the "patch-and-plaster" remedy
of suffrage and legislation?
Recognize the fact, the law, that your power, your high
commission, is inward--vital--formative, and casual. Bring all
questions of choice or duty to this test, will it work at the
heart of things, among the realities and forces? Try your own life
by this; remember that mere external is falsehood and death. The
letter killeth. Give up all that is only of the appearance--or
even chiefly so, in conscious delight and motive--in person,
surrounding pursuit. Let your self-presentation, your home-making
and adorning, your social effort and interest, your occupation
and use of talent, all shape and issue for the things that are
essentially and integrally good, and that the world needs to have
prevail. Until you can do this, and induce such doing, it is of
little use to clamor for mere outward right, or to contend that it
would be rightly applied.
Work as you will, and widely as you can, for schools, in
associations, in everything whose end is to teach, enlighten,
enlarge women, and so the world. Help and protect the industries
of women; but keep those industries within the guiding law of
woman-life. Do not throw down barriers that take down safeguards
with them; that make threatening breaches in the very social
structure. If women must serve in shops, demand and care for it
that it shall be in a less mixed, a more shielded way than now.
The great caravansaries of trade are perilous by their throng,
publicity, and weariness. There used to be women's shops; choice
places, where a woman's care and taste had ruled before the
counters were spread; where women could quietly purchase things
that were sure to be beautiful or of good service; there were not
the tumult and ransacking that kill both shop-girl and shopper
This is one instance, and but one, of the rescuing that ought
to be attempted. There ought at least to be distinct women's
departments, presided over by women of good, motherly tone and
character, in the places of business which women so frequent, and
where the thoughtful are aware of much that makes them tremble.
And surely a great many of the girls and women who choose
shop-work, because they like its excitement, ought rather to be in
homes, rendering womanly service, and preparing to serve in homes
of their own--leaving their present places to young men who might
perhaps begin so to earn the homes to offer them. Will not this
apply all the way up, into the arts and the professions even?
There must needs be exceptional women perhaps; there are, and will
be, time and errand and place for them; but Heaven forbid that
they should all become exceptional.
Once more, work for these things that are behind, and underlie;
believing that woman's place is behind and within, not of
repression, but of power; and that if she do not fill this place
it will be empty; there will be no main spring. Meanwhile she will
get her rights as she rises to them, and her defenses where she
needs them; everything that helps, defends, uplifts the woman
uplifts man and the whole fabric, and man has begun to find it
out. If he "will give the suffrage if women want it," as is said,
why shall he not as well give them the things that they want
suffrage for and that they are capable of representing? Believe
me, this work, and the representation which grows out of it,
can no longer be done if we attempt the handling of political
machinery--the making of platforms, the judging of candidates, the
measuring and disputation of party plans and issues, and all the
tortuous following up of public and personal political history.
Do you say, men have their individual work in the world, and all
this beside and of it, and that therefore we may? Exactly here
comes in again the law of the interior. Their work is "of
it"--falls in the way. They rub against it as they go along. Men
meet each other in the business thoroughfares, at the offices and
the street corners; we are in the dear depths of home. We are with
the little ones, of whom is not this kingdom, but the kingdom of
heaven, which we, through them, may help to come. This is just
where we must abandon our work, if we attempt the doing of theirs.
And here is where our prestige will desert us, whenever great
cause calls us to speak from out our seclusions, and show men,
from our insights and our place, the occasion and desire that look
unto their rule. They will not listen then; they will remand us to
"Inside politics" is a good word. That is just where woman ought
to be, as she ought to be inside everything, insisting upon and
implanting the truth and right that are to conquer. And she can
not be inside and outside both. She can not do the mothering
and the home-making, the watching and ministry, the earning and
maintaining hold and privilege and motive influence behind and
through the acts of men--and all the world-wide execution of act
beside. Therefore, we say, do not give up the substance which you
might seize, for the shadow which you could not hold fast if you
were to seem to grasp it. Work on at the foundations. Insist on
truth and right; put them into all your own life, taking all the
beam out of your own eye before demanding--well, we will say the
mote, for generosity's sake, and for the holy authority of the
word--out of the brother's eyes.
Establish pure, honest, lovely things--things of good report--in
the nurseries, the schools, the social circles where you reign,
and the outside world and issue will take form and heed for
themselves. The nation, of which the family is the root, will be
made, and built, and saved accordingly. Every seed hath its own
body. The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent-head of
evil, and shall rise triumphant to become the ennobled, recreated
commonwealth. Then shall pour forth the double paean that thrills
through the glorious final chorus of Schumann's Faust--men and
women answering in antiphons--
Here it is done;
Beckons us on!"
Then shall Mary--the fulfilled, ennobled womanhood--sing her
Magnificat; standing to receive from the Lord, and to give the
living word to the nations:
"My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God, my Saviour.
For He hath looked upon the low estate of His handmaiden;
For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed,
For He that is mighty hath done to me great things;
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is unto generations and generations."
The coming new version of the Old Testament gives us, we are told,
among other more perfect renderings, this one, which fitly utters
charge and promise:
"The Lord gave the word;
Great was the company
That published it."
"The Lord giveth the word;
And the women that bring
Are a great host."
ADELINE D.T. WHITNEY.
Mr. BLAIR. Mr. President, before the vote is taken I desire to say but
a word. Early in the session I had the opportunity of addressing the
Senate upon the general merits of the question. I said then all that I
cared to say; but I wish to remind the Senate before the vote is taken
that the question to be decided is not whether upon the whole the
suffrage should be extended to women, but whether in the proper arena
for the amendment of the Constitution ordained by the Constitution
itself one-third of the American people shall have the opportunity to
be heard in the discussion of such a proposed amendment--whether they
shall have the opportunity of the exercise of the first right of
republican government and of the American and of any free citizen,
the submission to the popular tribunal, which has alone the power to
decide the question whether on the whole, upon a comparison of the
arguments pro and con bearing one way and the other upon this great
subject, the American people will extend the suffrage to those who are
now deprived of it.
That is the real question for the Senate to consider. It is not
whether the Senate would, itself, extend the suffrage to women, but
whether those men who believe that women should have the suffrage
shall be heard, so that there may be a decision and an end made of
this great subject, which has now been under discussion more than
a quarter of a century, and to-day for the first time even in the
legislative body which is to submit the proposition to the country for
consideration has there been a prospect of reaching a vote.
I appeal to Senators not to decide this question upon the arguments
which have been offered here to-day for or against the merits of the
proposition. I appeal to them to decide this question upon that other
principle to which I have adverted, whether one-third of the American
people shall be permitted to go into the arena of public discussion
of the States, among the people of the States, and before the
Legislatures of the States, and be heard upon the issue, shall
the general Constitution be so amended as to extend this right of
suffrage? If, with this opportunity, those who believe in woman
suffrage fail, they must be content; for I agree with the Senators
upon the opposite side of the Chamber and with all who hold that if
the suffrage is to be extended at all, it must be extended by the
operation of existing law. I believe it to be an innate right; yet an
innate right must be exercised only by the consent of the controling
forces of the State. That is all that woman asks. That is all that any
one asks who believes in this right belonging to her sex.
As bearing simply upon the question whether there is a demand by a
respectable number of people to be heard on this issue, I desire
to read one or two documents in my possession. I offer in this
connection, in addition to the innumerable petitions which have been
placed before the Senate and before the other House, the petition of
the Women's Christian Temperance Union. I take it that no Senator will
raise the question whether this organization be or be not composed
of the very _elite_ of the women of America. At least two hundred
thousand of the Christian women of this country are represented in
this organization. It is national in its character and scope; it is
international, and it exists in every State and in every Territory of
the Union. By their officers, Miss Frances E. Willard, the president;
Mrs. Caroline B. Buell, corresponding secretary; Mrs. Mary A.
Woodbridge, recording secretary; Mrs. L.M.N. Stevens, assistant
recording secretary; Miss Esther Pugh, treasurer; Mrs. Zerelda G.
Wallace, superintendent of department of franchise, and Mrs. Henrietta
B. Wall, secretary of department of franchise, they bring this
petition to the Senate. It has been indorsed by the action of the body
at large. They say:
Believing that governments can be just only when deriving their
powers from the consent of the governed, and that in a government
professing to be a government of the people, all the people of a
mature age should have a voice, and that all class-legislation and
unjust discrimination against the rights and privileges of any
citizen is fraught with danger to the republic, and inasmuch as
the ballot in popular governments is a most potent element in all
moral and social reforms:
We, therefore, on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Christian
women engaged in philanthropic effort, pray you to use your
influence, and vote for the passage of a sixteenth amendment
to the Constitution of the United States, prohibiting the
disfranchisement of any citizen on the ground of sex.
I have also just received, in addition to other matter before the
Senate, the petition of the Indianapolis Suffrage Association, or of
that department of the Women's Christian Temperance Union which has
the control of the discussion and management of the operations of the
union with reference to the suffrage. I shall not take the time of the
Senate to read it. The letter transmitting the petition is as follows:
INDIANAPOLIS, IND., _January_ 12, 1886.
DEAR SIR: I have sent the inclosed petitions and arguments to
every member on the Committee on Woman Suffrage, hoping if they
are read they may have some influence in securing a favorable
report for the passage of a sixteenth amendment, giving the ballot
Will you urge upon the members of the committee the importance of
MRS. Z.G. WALLACE, _Sup't Dep't for Franchise of N.W.C.T.U._
Hon. H.W. BLAIR.
I will add in this connection a letter lately received by myself,
written by a lady who may not be so distinguished in the annals of the
country, yet, at the same time, she has attained to such a position in
the society where she lives that she holds the office of postmaster by
the sanction of the Government, and has held it for many years. She
seems, as other ladies have seemed, to possess the capacity to perform
the duties of this governmental office, so far as I know, to universal
satisfaction. At all events, it is the truth that no woman, so far as
I have ever heard, holding the office of postmaster, and no woman who
has ever held the position of clerk under the Government, or who has
ever discharged in State or in Nation any executive or administrative
function, has as yet been a defaulter, or been guilty of any
misconduct or malversation in office, or contributed anything by her
own conduct to the disgrace of the appointing or creating official
power. This woman says:
NEW LONDON, WIS., _January 18, 1887_.
Hon. H.W. BLAIR, _Washington, D.C._:
DEAR SIR: Thank you for the address you sent; also for your
kindness in remembering us poor mortals who can scarcely get a
hearing in such an august body as the Senate of these United
States, though I have reason to believe we furnished the men to
fill those seats.
There is something supremely ridiculous in the attitude of a man
who tells you women are angelic in their nature; that it is his
veneration for the high and lofty position they occupy which hopes
to keep them forever from the dirty vortex of politics, and then
to see him glower at her because she wishes politics were not so
dirty, and believes the mother element, by all that makes humanity
to her doubly sacred, is just what is needed for its purification.
We have become tired of hearing and reiterating the same old
theories and are pleased that you branched out in a new direction,
and your argument contains so much which is new and fresh.
We do care for this inestimable boon which one-half the people of
this Republic have seized, and are claiming that God gave it to
them and are working very zealously to help God keep it for them.
(We will remember the Joshua who leads us out of bondage.)
I used to think the Prohibition party would be our Moses, but that
has only gone so far as to say, "You boost us upon a high and
mighty pedestal, and when we see our way clear to pull you after
us we will venture to do so; but you can not expect it while we
run any risk of becoming unpopular thereby."
Liberty stands a goddess upon the very dome of our Capitol,
Liberty's lamp shines far out into the darkness, a beacon to the
oppressed, a dazzling ray of hope to serf and bondsmen of other
climes, yet here a sword unforbidden is piercing the heart of the
mother whose son believes God has made us to differ so that he can
go astray and return. But, alas, he does not return.
Help us to stand upon the same political footing with our brother;
this will open both his and our eyes and compel him to stand upon
the same moral footing with us. Only this can usher in millenium's
This letter is signed, by Hannah E. Patchin, postmaster at New London,
As bearing upon the extent of this agitation, I have many other
letters of the same character and numerous arguments by women upon
this subject, but I can not ask the attention of the Senate to them,
for what I most of all want is a vote. I desire a record upon this
question. However, I ought to read this letter, which is dated Salina,
Kans., December 13, 1886. The writer is Mrs. Laura M. Johns. She is
connected with the suffrage movement in that State, and as bearing
upon the extent of this movement and as illustrative not only of the
condition of the question in Kansas, but very largely throughout the
country, perhaps, especially throughout the northern part of the
country, I read this and leave others of like character, as they are,
because we have not the time:
I am deeply interested in the fate of the now pending resolution
proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States,
conferring upon women the exercise of the suffrage. The right is
I see, in speaking to that resolution on December 8 in the Senate,
that you refer to Miss Anthony's experiences in the October
campaign in Kansas as evidence in part of the growth of interest
in this movement, and of sentiment favorable to it, and I am
writing now just to tell you about it.
When I planned and arranged for those eleven conventions in eleven
fine cities of this State, I thought I knew that the people of
Kansas felt a strong interest in the question of woman suffrage;
but when with Miss Anthony and others I saw immense audiences
of Kansas people receive the gospel of equal suffrage with
enthusiasm, saw them sitting uncomfortably crowded, or standing to
listen for hours to arguments in favor of suffrage for women: saw
the organization of strong and ably officered local, county, and
district associations of the best and "brainiest" men and women in
our first cities for the perpetuation of woman suffrage teachings;
saw people of the highest social, professional, and business
position give time, money and influence, to this cause; saw
Miss Anthony's life work honored and her feted and most highly
commended, I concluded that I had before known but half of the
interest and favorable sentiment in Kansas on this question. These
meetings were very largely attended, and by all classes, and
by people of all shades of religious and political belief. The
representative people of the labor party were there, ministers,
lawyers, all professions, and all trades.
No audiences could have been more thoroughly representative of
the people; and as we held one (and more) convention in each
Congressional district in the State, we certainly had, from the
votes of those audiences in eleven cities, a truthful expression
of the feeling of the people of the State of Kansas on this
question. Many of the friends of the cause here are very willing
to risk our fate to the popular vote.
In our conventions Miss Anthony was in the habit of putting the
following questions to vote:
"Are you in favor of equal suffrage for women?"
"Do you desire that your Senators, INGALLS and PLUMB, and your
seven Congressmen shall vote for the sixteenth amendment to the
Federal Constitution?" and
"Do you desire your Legislature to extend municipal suffrage to
In response there always came a rousing "yes," except when the
vote was a rising one, and then the house rose in a solid body.
Miss Anthony's call for the negative vote was answered by silence.
Petitions for municipal suffrage in Kansas are rolling up
enormously. People sign them now who refused to do so last year. I
tell you it is catching. Many people here are disgusted with our
asking for such a modicum as municipal suffrage, and say they
would rather sign a petition asking for the submission of an
amendment to our State constitution giving us State suffrage. We
have speakers now at work all over the State, their audiences and
reception are enthusiastic, and their most radical utterances in
favor of woman are the most kindly received and gain them the most
And further to the same effect. I shall offer nothing more of that
kind, but I have come in possession of some data bearing upon the
question of the intellect of woman. The real objection seems to me
to he that she does not know enough to vote; that it is the ignorant
ballot that is dangerous; but that is a subject which of course I have
no time to go into. However, I have some data collected very recently,
and at my request, by a most intelligent gentleman of the State of
Maine. Either of the Senators from that State will bear witness as to
the high character of this gentleman, Mr. Jordan. He sent the data to
me a few days ago. They show the relative standing of the two sexes in
the high schools in the State of Maine where they are being educated
together, and in one of the colleges of that State:
_High school No_. 1.--Average rank on scale of 100.--1882: boys
88.7, girls 91; 1883: boys 88.2, girls 91.3; 1884: boys 88.8,
girls 91.9 (of the graduating class 7 girls and 1 boy were the
eight highest in rank for the four years' course); 1885: boys
88.6, girls 91.4 (eight highest in rank for four years' course,
4 boys and 4 girls); 1886: boys 88.2, girls 91 (eight highest in
rank for four years' course, 7 girls and I boy).
_High school No_. 2.--Average rank on scale of 100.--1886: boys
90, girls 98 (six highest in rank for four years' course, 6
_College_.--Average rank for fall term of the junior year on the
scale of 40.--1882: boys 37.75, girls 37.93; 1883: boys 38.03,
girls 38.70; 1884: boys 38.18, girls 88.59; 1885; boys 38.33,
With only this last exception the average of the girls and young
ladies in the high schools and at this institution of liberal training
is substantially higher than that of the boys. I simply give that fact
in passing, and there leave the matter.
I desire in closing simply to call for the reading of the joint
resolution. I could say nothing to quicken the sense of the Senate on
the importance of the question about to be taken. It concerns one-half
of our countrymen, one-half of the citizens of the United States, but
it is more than that, Mr. President. This question is radical, and it
concerns the condition of the whole human race. I believe that in the
agitation of this question lies the fate of republican government, and
in that of republican government lies the fate of mankind. I ask for
the reading of the joint resolution.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The joint resolution is before the Senate as in
Committee of the Whole. It has been read. Does the Senator desire to
have it read again?
Mr. BLAIR. Has it been read this afternoon?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. It has been.
Mr. BLAIR. That is all then. Now, I wish to have printed in the
RECORD, by reason of the printed matter that has gone into the RECORD
upon the other side, the arguments of Miss Anthony and her associates
before the Senate committee, which is out of print as a document.
These arguments are very terse and brief. I think it only just that
woman, who is most interested, should be heard, at least under the
circumstances when she has herself been heard on the other side
through printed matter. It will not be burdensome to the RECORD, and I
ask that this be done.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair hears no objection to the suggestion.
The document will be printed in the RECORD.
The document is as follows:
ARGUMENTS BEFORE THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON WOMAN SUFFRAGE, UNITED
STATES SENATE, MARCH 7, 1884.
By a committee of the Sixteenth Annual Washington Convention of
the National Woman Suffrage Association, in favor of a sixteenth
amendment to the Constitution of the United States, that shall
protect the right of women citizens to vote in the several States
of the Union.
_Order of proceeding_.
The CHAIRMAN (Senator COCKRELL). We have allotted the time to be
divided as the speakers may desire among themselves. We are now
ready to hear the ladies.
Miss SUSAN B. ANTHONY. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the select
committee: This is the sixteenth time that we have come before
Congress in person, and the nineteenth annually by petitions. Ever
since the war, from the winter of 1865-'66, we have regularly sent
up petitions asking for the national protection of the citizen's
right to vote when the citizen happens to be a woman. We are here
again for the same purpose. I do not propose to speak now, but to
introduce the other speakers, and at the close perhaps will state
to the committee the reasons why we come to Congress. The other
speakers will give their thought from the standpoint of their
respective States. I will first introduce to the committee Mrs.
Harriet R. Shattuck, of Boston, Mass.
REMARKS BY MRS. HARRIET R. SHATTUCK.
Mrs. SHATTUCK. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen: It seems as if it were
almost unnecessary for us to come here at this meeting, because I
feel that all we have to say and all we have to claim is known to
you, and we can not add anything to what has been said in the past
But I should like to say one thing, and that is, that in my work
it has seemed that if we could convince everybody of the motives
of the suffragists we would go far toward removing prejudices. I
know that those motives are very much misunderstood. Persons think
of us as ambitious women, who are desirous for fame, and who
merely come forward to make speeches and get before the public, or
else they think that we are unfortunate beings with no homes, or
unhappy wives, who are getting our livelihood in this sort of way.
If we could convince every man who has a vote in this Republic
that this is not the case, I believe we could go far toward
removing the prejudice against us. If we could make them see that
we are working here merely because we know that the cause is
right, and we feel that we must work for it, that there is a power
outside of ourselves which impels us onward, which says to us:
go forward and speak to the people and try to bring them up to a
sense of their duty and of our right. This is the belief that I
have in regard to our position on this question. It is a matter of
duty with us, and that is all.
In Massachusetts I represent a very much larger number of women
than is supposed. It has always been said that very few women wish
to vote. Believing that this objection, although it has nothing to
do with the rights of the cause, ought to be met, the association
of which I am president inaugurated last year a sort of canvass,
which I believe never had been attempted before, whereby we
obtained the proportion of women in favor and opposed to suffrage
in different localities of our State. We took four localities in
the city of Boston, two in smaller cities, and two in the country
districts, and one also of school teachers in nine schools of one
town. Those school teachers were unanimously in favor of suffrage,
and in the nine localities we found that the proportion of women
in favor was very large as against those opposed. The total of
women canvassed was 814. Those in favor were 405; those opposed,
44; indifferent, 166; refused to sign, 160; not seen, 39. This,
you see, is a very large proportion in favor. Those indifferent,
and those who were not seen, were not included, because we claim
that nobody can yet say that they are opposed or in favor until
they declare themselves; but the 405 in favor against the 44
opposed were as 9 to 1. These canvasses were made by women who
were of perfect respectability and responsibility, and they swore
before a justice of the peace as to the truth of their statements.
So we have in Massachusetts this reliable canvass of the number of
women in favor as to those opposed, and we find that it is 9 to 1.
These women, then, are the class whom I represent here, and they
are women who can not come here themselves. Very few women in the
country can come here and do this work, or do the work in their
States, because they are in their homes attending to their duties,