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Debate On Woman Suffrage In The Senate Of The United States, by Henry W. Blair, J.E. Brown, J.N. Dolph, G.G. Vest, Geo. F. Hoar.

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but none the less are they believers in this cause. We would not
any more than any man in the country ask a woman to leave her home
duties to go into this work, but a few of us are so situated that
we can do it, and we come here and we go to the State Legislatures
representing all the women of the country in this work.

What we ask is, not that we may have the ballot to obtain any
particular thing, although we know that better things will come
about from it, but merely because it is our right, and as a matter
of justice we claim it as human beings and as citizens, and as
moral, responsible, and spiritual beings, whose voice ought to be
heard in the Government, and who ought to take hand with men and
help the world to become better.

Gentlemen, you have kept women just a little step below you. It
is only a short step. You shower down favors upon us it is true,
still we remain below you, the recipients of favors without the
right to take what is our own. We ask that this shall be changed;
that you shall take us by the hand and lift us up to the same
political level with you, where we shall have rights with you, and
stand equal with you before the law.


Miss ANTHONY. I will now introduce to the committee Mrs. May
Wright Sewall, of Indianapolis, who is the chairman of our
executive committee.

Mrs. SEWALL. Gentlemen of the committee: Gentlemen, I believe,
differ somewhat in their political opinions. It will not then
be surprising, I suppose, that I should differ somewhat from my
friend in regard to the knowledge that you probably possess upon
our question. I do not believe that you know all that we know
about the women of this country, for I believe that if you did
know even all that I know, and my knowledge is much more limited
than that of many of my sisters, long ago the sixteenth amendment,
for which we ask, would have been passed through your influence.

I remember that when I was here two years ago and had the honor of
appearing before the committee, who granted us, on that occasion,
what you are so kind and courteous to grant on this occasion, an
opportunity to speak before you, I told you that I represented at
least seventy thousand women who had asked for the ballot in my
State, and I tried then to remind the members of the committee
that had seventy thousand Indiana men asked for any measure from
the Congress that then occupied this Capitol, that measure would
have secured the most deliberate consideration from their hands,
and, in all probability, its passage by the Congress. Of that
there can be no doubt.

I do not wish to exaggerate my constituency, but during the last
two years, and since I had the honor of addressing the committee,
the work of woman suffrage has progressed very rapidly in
my State. The number of women who have found themselves in
circumstances to work openly, and whose spirit has been drawn into
it, has largely increased, and as the workers have multiplied
the results have increased. While we have not taken the careful
canvass that has been so wisely and judiciously taken in
Massachusetts, so that I can present to you the exact number of
women who would to-day appeal for suffrage, I know that I can,
far within the bounds of possible truth, state that while I
represented seventy thousand women in my State two years ago,
who desired the adoption of the sixteenth amendment, I represent
to-day twice that number.

Should any one come up from Indiana, pivotal State as it has been
long called in national elections, saying that he represented the
wish of one hundred and forty thousand Indiana men, gentlemen,
would you scorn his appeal? Would you treat it lightly? Not at
all. You know that it would receive the most candid consideration.
You know that it would receive not merely respectful
consideration, but immediate and prompt and just action upon your

I have been told since I have reached Washington that of all women
in the country Indiana women have the least to complain of, and
the least reason for coming to the United States Capitol with
their petitions and the statement of their needs, because we have
received from our own Legislature such amendments and amelioration
of the old unjust laws. In one sense it is true that we are the
recipients in our own State of many civil rights and of a very
large degree of civil equality. It is true that as respects
property rights, and as respects industrial rights, the women of
my own State may perhaps be the envy of all other women in the
land, but, gentlemen, you have always told men that the greater
their rights and the more numerous their privileges the greater
their responsibilities. That is equally true of woman, and simply
because our property rights are enlarged, because our industrial
field is enlarged, because we have more women who are producers
in the industrial world, recognized as such, who own property in
their own names, and consequently pay taxes upon that property,
and thereby have greater financial and larger social, as well
as industrial and business interests at stake in our own
commonwealth, and in the manner in which the administration of
national affairs is conducted--because of all these privileges we
the more need the power which shall emphasize our influence upon
political action.

You know that industrial and property rights are in the hands of
the law-makers and the executors of the laws. Therefore, because
of our advanced position in that matter, we the more need the
recognition of our political equality. I say the recognition of
our political equality, because I believe the equality already
exists. I believe it waits simply for your recognition; that were
the Constitution now justly construed, and the word "citizens," as
used in your Constitution, justly applied it would include us, the
women of this country. So I ask for the recognition of an equality
that we already possess.

Further, because of what we have we ask for more. Because of the
duties that we are commanded to do, we ask for more. My friend has
said, and it is true in some respects, that men have always kept
us just a little below them where they could shower upon us
favors, and they have always done that generously. So they have,
but, gentlemen, has your sex been more generous in its favors
to women than women have been generous toward your sex in their
favors? Neither one can do without the other: neither can dispense
with the service of the other; neither can dispense with the
reverence of the other, with the aid of the other in domestic
life, in social life. The men of this nation are rapidly finding
that they can not dispense with the service of women in business
life. I know that they are also feeling the need of what they call
the moral support of women in their public life, and in their
political life.

I always feel that it is not for women alone that I appeal. As men
have long represented me, or assumed to do so, and as the men of
my own family always have done so justly and most chivalrously, I
feel that in my appeal for political recognition I represent them;
that I represent my husband and my brother and the interest of the
sex to which they belong, for you, gentlemen, by lifting the women
of the nation into political equality would simply place us where
we could lift you where you never yet have stood, upon a moral
equality with us. Gentlemen, that is true. You know it as well as
I. I do not speak to you as individuals; I speak to you as the
representatives of your sex, as I stand here the representative
of mine; and never until we are your equals politically will the
moral standard for men be what it now is for women, and it is
none too high. Let it grow the more elevated by our growth in
spirituality, by every aspiration which we receive from the God
whence we draw our life and whence we draw our impulses of life.
Let our standard remain where it is and be more elevated. Yours
must come up to match it, and never will it until we are your
equals politically. So it is for men, as well as for women, that I
make my appeal.

I know that there are some gentlemen upon this committee who, when
we were here two years ago, had something to say about the rights
of the States and of their disinclination to interfere with the
rights of the States in this matter. I have great sympathy with
the gentlemen from the South, who, I hope, do not forget that they
are representing the women of the South in their work here at the
national capital. Already some Northern States are making rapid
strides towards the enfranchisement of their women. The men of
some of the Northern States see that they can no longer accomplish
the purposes politically which they desire to accomplish without
the aid of the women of their respective States. Washington is
the third Territory that has added women to its voting force, and
consequently to its political power at the national capital
as well as its own capital. Oregon will undoubtedly, as her
representative will tell you to-day, soon add its women to its
voting force. The men who believe, that each State must be left
to do this for itself will soon find that the balance of power
between the North and South is destroyed, unless the women of the
South are brought forward to add to the political force of the
South as the women of the North are being brought forward to add
to the political force of the North.

This should not be acted upon as a partisan measure. We do not
appeal to you as Republicans or as Democrats. We have among us
Republicans and Democrats; we have our party affiliations. We, of
course, were reared with our brothers under the political belief
and faith of our fathers, and probably as much influenced by that
rearing as our brothers were. We shall go to strengthen both the
political parties, neither one nor the other the more, probably.
So that it is not as a partisan measure; it is as a just measure,
which is our due, not because of what we are, gentlemen, but
because of what you are, and because of what we are through you,
of what you shall be through us; of what we, men and women, both
are by virtue of our heritage and our one Father, our one mother
eternal, the spirit created and progressive, that has thus far
sustained us, and that will carry us and you forward to the action
which we demand of you to take, and to the results which we
anticipate will attend upon that action.


Miss Anthony. I think I will call upon the other representative
of the State of Indiana to speak now, Mrs. Helen M. Gougar, of
Lafayette, Ind.

Mrs. Gougar. Gentlemen, we are here on behalf of the women
citizens of this Republic, asking for political freedom. I
maintain that there is no political question paramount to that
of woman suffrage before the people of America to-day. Political
parties would fain have us believe that tariff is the great
question of the hour. Political parties know better. It is an
insult to the intelligence of the present hour to say that when
one-half of the citizens of this Republic are denied a direct
voice in making the laws under which they shall live, that tariff,
or that the civil rights of the negro, or any other question that
can be brought up, is equal to the one of giving political freedom
to women. So I come to ask you, as representative men, making laws
to govern the women the same as the men of this country (and there
is not a law that you make in the United States Congress in which
woman has not an equal interest with man), to take the word "male"
out of the constitutions of the United States and the several
States, as you have taken the word "white" out, and give to us
women a voice in the laws under which we live.

You ask me why I am inclined to be practical in my view of this
question. In the first place, speaking from my own standpoint, I
ask you to let me have a voice in the laws under which I shall
live because the older empires of the earth are sending in upon
our American shores a population drawing very largely from
the asylums, yes, from the penitentiaries, the jails, and the
poor-houses of the Old World. They are emptying those men upon
our shores, and within a few months they are intrusted with the
ballot, the law-making power in this Republic, and they and their
representatives are seated in official and legislative positions.
I, as an American-born woman, to-day enter my protest at being
compelled to live under laws made by this class of men very
largely, and myself being rendered utterly incapable of the
protection that can only come from the ballot. While I would not
have you take this right or privilege from those men whom we
invite to our shores, I do ask you, in the face of this immense
foreign immigration, to enfranchise the tax-paying, intelligent,
moral, native-born women of America.

Miss Anthony. And foreign women, too.

Mrs. Gougar. Miss Anthony suggests an amendment, and I indorse it
most heartily, and foreign women too, because if we let a foreign
man vote I say let the foreign woman vote. I am in favor of
universal suffrage.

Gentlemen, I ask this as a matter of justice; I ask it because it
is an insult to the intelligence of the present to draw the sex
line upon any right whatever. I know there are many objections
urged, and I am sure that you have considered this question; but
I only make the demand from the standpoint, not of sex, but of

As a Northern woman, as a woman from Indiana, I know that we have
the intelligent, thinking, cultured, pure, patriotic men and
women with us. We have the women who are engaged in philanthropic
enterprises. We have in our own State the signatures of over 5,000
of the school teachers asking for woman's ballot. I ask you if the
United States Government does not need the voice of those 5,000
educated school teachers as much as it needs the voice of the
240 male criminals who are, on an average, sent out of the
penitentiary of Indiana every year, who go to the ballot-box upon
every question whatever, and make laws under which those school
teachers must live, and under which the mothers of our State must
keep their homes and rear their children?

On behalf of the mothers of this country I demand that their hands
shall be loosened before the ballot-box, and that they shall have
the privilege of throwing the mother heart into the laws that
shall follow their sons not only to the age of majority that only
has been made legal, but is never recognized, and so I ask you to
let the mothers carry their influence in protecting laws around
the footsteps of those boys, even after their hair has turned gray
and they have seats in the United States Congress. I ask you to
give them the power to throw protecting laws around those boys to
the very confines of eternity. This can be done in no indirect
way; it can not be done by the silent influence; it can not be
done by prayer. While I do not underestimate the power of prayer,
I say give me my ballot on election day that shall send pure
men, good men, intelligent men, statesmen, instead of the modern
politician, into our legislative halls. I would rather have that
ballot on election day than the prayers of all the disfranchised
women in the universe.

So I ask you to loosen our hands. I ask you to let us join with
you in developing this science of human government. What is
politics after all but the science of government? We are
interested in these questions, and we are investigating them
already. We have our opinions. Recently an able man has said that
we have been grandly developed physically and mentally, but as a
nation we are a political infant. So we are, gentlemen; we are
to-day in America politically simply an infant. Why is it? It
is because we have not recognized God's family plan in
government--man and woman together. He created the male and
female, and gave them dominion together. We have dominion in every
other interest in society, and why shall we not stand shoulder
to shoulder and have dominion, in the science in government, in
making the laws under which we shall live?

We are taxed to support this Government--this immense Capitol
building is built largely from the industries of the tax-paying
women of this country--and yet we are denied the slightest voice
in distributing our taxes. Our foreparents did not object to
taxation, but they did object to taxation without representation,
and we, as thinking, industrious, active American women, object to
taxation without representation. We are willing to contribute our
share to the support of this Government, as we always have done,
but we have a right to ask for our little yes and no in the
form of the ballot so that we shall have a direct influence in
distributing the taxes.

Gentlemen, I am amenable to the gallows and the penitentiary, and
it is no more than right that I shall have a voice in framing the
laws under which I shall he rewarded or punished. Am I asking too
much of you as representative men of this great Government when I
ask you to let me have a voice in making the laws under which I
shall be rewarded or punished? It is written in the law of every
State in this Union that a person in the courts shall have a jury
of his peers, yet so long as the word "male" stands as it does in
the Constitutions of the United States and the States no woman in
any State of this Union can have a jury of her peers, I protest in
the name of justice against going into the court-room and
being compelled to run the gauntlet of the gutter and of the
saloon--yes, even of the police court and of the jail--as we are
compelled to do to select a male jury to try the interests of
women, whether relating to life, property, or reputation. So long
as the word "male" is in our constitutions just so long we can not
have a jury of our peers in any State in the Union.

I ask that the women shall have the right of the ballot that
they may go into our legislative halls and there provide for the
prevention rather than the cure of crime. I ask you on behalf of
the twelve hundred children under twelve years of age who are
in the poor-houses of Indiana, of the sixteen hundred in the
poor-houses of Illinois, and on that average in every State in
the Union, that you shall take the word "male" out of the
constitutions and allow the women of this country to sit in
legislative halls and provide homes for and look after the little
waifs of society. There are hundreds of moral questions to-day
requiring the assistance of the moral element of womanhood to help
make the laws under which we shall live.

Gentlemen, the political party that lives in the future must fight
the moral battles of humanity. The day of blood is passed; the
day of brain and heart is upon us; and I ask you to let the moral
constituency that resides in woman's nature be represented. Let
me say right here that I do not believe that there is morality in
sex, but the social customs have been such that woman has been
held to a higher standard. May the day hasten when the social
custom shall hold man to as high a moral standard as it to-day
holds woman.

This is the condition of things. The political party that presumes
to fight the moral battles of the future must have the women in
its ranks. We are non-partisan, as has been well said by my friend
from Indiana [Mrs. Sewall.] We come Democrats, Republicans, and
Greenbackers, and I expect if there were a half dozen other
political parties some of us would belong to them. We ask this
beneficent action upon your part because we believe that the
intelligence and the justice of the hour is demanding it. We
do not want a political party action. We want you to keep this
question out of the canvass. We ask you in the name of justice and
humanity alone, and not on the part of party.

I hold in my hand a petition sent from one district in the State
of Illinois with the request that I bear it to you. Out of three
hundred electors the names of two hundred stand in this petition
that I shall leave in your hands. In this list stand not the
wife-whippers, not the drunkards, not the dissolute, but
every minister in that town, every editor in that town, every
professional man in that town, every banker, and every prominent
business man in that town of three hundred electors. I believe
that petitions could be rolled up in this way in every town in the
Northern and in many of the Southern States. I leave this petition
with you for your consideration.

Upon no question whatever has such a large number of petitions
been sent as upon this demand for woman suffrage. You have the
petitions in your hands, and I ask you in the name of justice and
humanity not to let this Congress adjourn without action.

You ask us if we are impatient. Yes; we are impatient. Some of
us may die, and I want our grand old standard-bearer, Susan B.
Anthony, whose name will go down to history beside that of George
Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Wendell Phillips--I want that
woman to go to heaven a free angel from this Republic. The power
lies in your hands to make us all free. May the blessing of God be
upon the hearts of every one of you, gentlemen; may the scales
of prejudice fall from your eyes, and may you, representing the
Senate of the United States, have the grand honor of telegraphing
to us, to the millions of waiting women from one end of this
country to the other, that the sixteenth amendment has been
submitted to the ratification of the several legislatures of our
States striking the word "male" out of the constitutions; and that
this shall be, as we promise it to be, a government of the people,
for the people, and by the people.


Miss Anthony. I now, gentlemen of the committee, introduce to you
Mrs. Abigail Scott Duniway, from the extreme Northwest; and before
she speaks I wish to say that she has been the one canvasser in
the great State of Oregon and Washington Territory, and that it is
to Mrs. Duniway that the women of Washington Territory are more
indebted than to all other influences for their enfranchisement.

Mrs. Duniway. Gentlemen of the committee, do you think it possible
that an agitation like this can go on and on forever without a
victory? Do you not see that the golden moment has come for this
grand committee to achieve immortality upon the grandest idea that
has ever stirred the heart-beats of American citizens, and will
you not in the magnanimity of noble purposes rise to meet the
situation and, accede to our demand, which in your hearts you must
know is just?

I do not come before you, gentlemen, with the expectation to
instruct you in regard to the laws of our country. The women
around us are law-abiding women. They are the mothers, many of
them, of true and noble men, the wives, many of them, of grand,
free husbands, who are listening, watching, waiting eagerly for
successful tidings of this great experiment.

There never was a grander theory of government than that of these
United States. Never were grander principles enunciated upon any
platform, never so grand before and never can be grander again,
than the declaration that "all men," including of course all
women, since women are amenable to the laws, "are created equal;
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable
rights * * * that to secure these rights governments are
instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent
of the governed."

Gentlemen, are we allowed the opportunity of consent? These women
who are here from Maine to Oregon, from the Straits of Fuca to the
reefs of Florida, who in their representative capacity have come
up here so often, augmented in their numbers year by year, looking
with eyes of hope and hearts of faith, but oftentimes with hopes
deferred, upon the final solution of this great problem, which it
is so much in your hands to hasten in its solution--these women
are in earnest. My State is far away beyond the confines of the
Rocky Mountains, away over beside the singing Pacific sea, but the
spirit of liberty is among us there, and the public heart has been
stirred. The hearts of our men have been moved to listen to our
demands, and in Washington Territory, as one speaker has informed
you, women to-day are endowed with full and free enfranchisement,
and the rejoicing throughout that Territory is universal.

In Oregon men have also listened to our demand, and the
Legislature has in two successive sessions agreed upon a
proposition to amend our State constitution, a proposition which
will be submitted for ratification to our voters at the coming
June election. It is simply a proposition declaring that the right
of suffrage shall not hereafter be prohibited in the State of
Oregon on account of sex. Your action in the Senate of the United
States will greatly determine the action of the voters of Oregon
on our, or rather on their, election day, for we stand before the
public in the anomaly of petitioners upon a great question in
which we, in its final decision, are allowed no voice, and we can
only stand with expectant hearts and almost bated breath awaiting
the action of men who are to make this decision.

We have great hope for our victory, because the men of the broad,
free West are grand, and chivalrous, and free. They have gone
across the mighty continent with free steps; they have raised the
standard of a new Pacific empire; they have imbibed the spirit of
liberty with their very breath, and they have listened to us far
in advance of many of the men of the older States who have not
had their opportunity among the grand free wilds of nature for

So all of our leaders are with us to-day. You may go to either
member of the Senate of the United States from Oregon, and while I
can not speak so positively for the senior member, as he came over
here some years ago before the public were so well educated as
now, I can and do proudly vouch for the late Senator-elect DOLPH,
who now has a seat upon the floor of the Senate, who is heart and
soul and hand and purse in sympathy with this great movement for
the enfranchisement of the women of Oregon. I would also be unjust
to our worthy representative in the lower house, Hon. M.C. George,
did I not proudly speak his name in this great connection. Men of
this class are with us, and without regard to party affiliations
we know that they are upon our side. Our governor, our associate
supreme judge for the district of the Pacific, all of these men,
are leading in the grand free way that characterizes the men of
the West in assisting in this work. But we have--alas, that I
should be compelled to say it--a great many men who pay no heed
whatever to this question. Men will be entitled to a voice in this
decision who are not, like members of Congress, the picked men of
the nation or the State, but men, many of whom can not read, who
will have an opportunity to decide this question as far as their
ballots can go. These are they to whom the enlightened, educated
motherhood of the State of Oregon must look largely for the

This brings me to the grand point of our coming to Congress. Some
of you say to us, "Why not leave this matter for settlement in
the different States?" When we leave it for settlement in the
different States we leave it just as I have told you, because of
the constitutional provisions of our organic law we can not
do otherwise; but if the question were to be settled by the
Legislature of Oregon alone it would be settled now; and I, as a
representative of that State only, would have no need of coming
here; it would be settled just as it has been settled in
Washington Territory; but when we come here to Congress it is
the great nation asking you to take such legislative action in
submitting an amendment to the Constitution of the United States
as shall recognize the equality of these women who are here; these
women who have come here from all parts of the country, whose
constituents are looking on while we are here before you. As we
reflect that our feeblest words uttered before this committee will
go to the confines of this nation and be cabled across the great
Atlantic and around the globe, we realize that more and more
prominently our cause is growing into public favor, and the time
is just upon us when some decision must be made.

Gentlemen of the committee, will you not recognize the importance
of the movement? Who among you will be our standard-bearer? Who
among you will achieve immortality by standing up in these halls
in which we are forbidden to speak, and in the magnanimity of your
own free wills and noble hearts champion the woman's cause and
make us before the law, as we of right ought now to be, free and


Miss ANTHONY. I now call upon Mrs. Caroline Gilkey Rogers, of
Lansingburg, N.Y., to address the committee.

Mrs. ROGERS. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, in our
efforts to secure the right of citizenship we appeal only to your
sense of justice and love of fair dealing.

We ask for the ballot because it is the symbol of equality. There
is no other recognized symbol of equality in this country. We ask
for the ballot that we may be equal to man before the law. We urge
a twofold right--our right to the Republic, the Republic's right
to us. We believe the interests of the country are identical with
the interests of all its citizens, including women, and that the
Government can no longer afford to shut women out from the affairs
of the State and nation, and wise men are beginning to know that
they are needed in the Government; that they are needed where our
laws are made as well as where they are violated.

Many admit the justice of our claim, but will say, Is it safe? Is
it expedient? It is always safe to do right; is always expedient
to be just. Justice can never bring evil in its train.

The question is asked how and what would the women do in the State
and nation? We do not pledge ourselves to anything. I claim that
we can not have a better government than that of the people. The
present Government is of only a part of the people. We have not
yet entered upon the system of higher arbitration, because the
Government is of man only. If we had been marching along with you
all this time I trust we should have reached a higher plane of

We believe that all the virtue of the world can take care of
all the evil, and all the intelligence can take care of all the
ignorance. Let us have all the virtue confront all the vice.

There is no need to do battle in this matter. In all kindness and
gentleness we urge our claims. There is no need to declare war
upon men, for the best of men in this country are with us heart
and soul.

It is a common remark that unless some new element is infused into
our political life our nation is doomed to destruction. What more
fitting element than the noble type of American womanhood,
who have taught our Presidents, Senators, and Congressmen the
rudiments of all they know.

Think of all the foreigners and all our own native-born ignorant
men who can not write their own names or read the Declaration of
Independence making laws for such women as Elizabeth Cady Stanton
and Susan B. Anthony. Think of jurors drawn from these ranks to
watch and try young girls for crimes often committed against them
when the male criminal goes free. Think of a single one of these
votes on election day outweighing all the women in the country. Is
it not humiliating for me to sit, a political cipher, and see the
colored man in my employ, to whom I have taught the alphabet, go
out on election day and say by his vote what shall be done with my
tax money. How would you like it?

When we think of the wives trampled on by husbands whom the law
has taught them to regard as inferior beings, and of the mothers
whose children are torn from their arms by the direct behest of
the law at the bidding of a dead or living father, when we think
of these things, our hearts ache with pity and indignation.

If mothers could only realize how the laws which they have no
voice in making and no power to change affect them at every point,
how they enter every door, whether palace or hovel, touch, limit,
and bind, every article and inmate from the smallest child up, no
woman, however shrinking and delicate, can escape it, they would
get beyond the meaningless cry, "I have all the rights I want."
Do these women know that in most States in the Union the shameful
fact that no woman has any legal rights to her own child, except
it is born out of wedlock! In these States there is not a line
of positive law to protect the mother; the father is the legal
protector and guardian of the children.

Under the laws of most of the States to-day a husband may by his
last will bequeath his child away from its mother, so that she
might, if the guardian chose, never see it again.

The husband may have been a very bad man, and in a moment of
anger made the will. The guardian he has appointed may turn out a
malicious man, and take pleasure in tormenting the mother, or he
may bring up the children in a way that the mother thinks ruinous
to them, and she has no redress in law. Why do not all the
fortunate mothers in the land cry out against such a law? Why do
not all women say, "Inasmuch as the law has done this wrong unto
the least of these my sisters it has done it unto me." It is true
that men are almost always better than their laws, but while a bad
law remains on the statute-books it gives to an unscrupulous man a
right to be as bad as the law.

It is often said to us when all the women ask for the ballot
it will be granted. Did all the married women petition the
Legislatures of their States to secure to them the right to hold
in their own name the property that belonged to them? To secure to
the poor forsaken wife the right to her earnings?

All the women did not ask for these rights, but all accepted them
with joy and gladness when they were obtained, and so it will be
with the franchise. But woman's right to self-government does not
depend upon the numbers that demand it, but upon precisely the
same principles that man claims it for himself.

Where did man get the authority that he now claims to govern
one-half of humanity, from what power the right to place woman,
his helpmeet in life, in an inferior position? Came it from
nature? Nature made woman his superior when she made her his
mother--his equal when she fitted her to hold the sacred position
of wife. Did women meet in council and voluntarily give up all
their claim to be their own law-makers?

The power of the strong over the weak makes man the master. Yes,
then, and then only, does he gain the authority.

It is all very well to say "convert the women." While we most
heartily wish they could all feel as we do, yet when it comes to
the decision of this great question they are mere ciphers, for
if this question is settled by the States it will be left to the
voters, not to the women to decide. Or if suffrage comes to women
through a sixteenth amendment of the national Constitution, it
will be decided by Legislatures elected by men. In neither case
will women have an opportunity of passing; upon the question. So
reason tells us we must devote our best efforts to converting
those to whom we must look for the removal of our disabilities,
which now prevent our exercising the right of suffrage.

The arguments in favor of the enfranchisement of women are truths
strong and unanswerable, and as old as the free institutions of
our Government. The principle of "taxation without representation
is tyranny" applies to women as well as men, and is as true to-day
as it was a hundred years ago.

Our demand for the ballot is the great onward step of the century,
and not, as some claim, the idiosyncracies of a few unbalanced

Every argument that has been urged against this question of
woman's suffrage has been urged against every reform. Yet the
reforms have fought their way onward and become a part of the
glorious history of humanity.

So it will be with suffrage. "You can stop the crowing of the
cock, but you can not stop the dawn of the morning." And now,
gentlemen, you are responsible, not for the laws you find on the
statute books, but for those you leave there.


Miss ANTHONY. I now introduce to the committee Mrs. Mary Seymour
Howell, the president of the Albany, N.Y., State society.

Mrs. HOWELL. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee: Miss
Anthony gives me five minutes. I shall have to talk very rapidly.
I ask you for the ballot because of the very first principle that
is often repeated to you, that "taxation without representation is
tyranny." I come from the city of Albany, where many of my sisters
are taxed for millions of dollars. There are three or four women
in the city of Albany who are worth their millions, and yet they
have no voice in the laws that govern and control them. One of our
great State senators has said that you can not argue five minutes
against woman suffrage without repudiating every principle that
this great Republic is founded upon.

I ask you also for the ballot for the large class of women who are
not taxed. They need it more than the women who are taxed, I have
found in every work that I have conducted that because I am a
woman I am not paid for that work as a man is paid for similar

You have heard, and perhaps some of you are thinking--I hope
not--that women should be at home. I wish to say to you that there
are millions of women in the United States who have no homes.
There are millions of women who are trying to earn their bread and
hold their purity sacred. For that class of women I appeal to you.
In the city of Albany there are hundreds of women in our factories
making the shirts that you can buy for $1.50 and $2, and all those
women are paid for making the shirts is 4 cents apiece. There are
in the State of New York 18,000 teachers. When I was a teacher
and taught with gentlemen in our academies, I received about
one-fourth of the pay because I happened to be a woman. I consider
it an insult that forever burns in my soul, that I am to be handed
a mere pittance in comparison with what man receives for same
quality of work. When I was sent out by our superintendent of
public instruction to hold conventions of teachers, as I have
often done in our State of New York, and when I did one-third more
work than the men teachers so sent out, but because I was a woman
and had not the ballot, I was only paid about half as much as
the man; and saying that once to our superintendent of public
instruction in Albany, he said, "Mrs. Howell, just as soon as you
get the ballot and have a political influence in the work you will
have the same pay as a man."

We ask for the ballot for that great army of fallen women who walk
our streets and who break up our homes and ruin our husbands and
our dear boys. We ask it for those women. The ballot will lift
them up. Hundreds and thousands of women give up their purity for
the sake of starving children and families. There is many a woman
who goes to a life of degradation and pollution shedding burning
tears over her 4-cent shirts.

We ask for the ballot for the good of the race, Huxley says,
"admitting for the sake of argument that woman is the weaker,
mentally and physically, for that reason she should have the
ballot and should have every help that the world can give her."
When you debar from your councils and legislative halls the
purity, the spirituality, and the love of woman then those
legislative halls and those councils are apt to become coarse and
brutal, God gave us to you to help you in this little journey to a
better land, and by our love and our intellect to help to make our
country pure and noble, and if you would have statesmen you must
have states we men to bear them.

I ask you also for the ballot that I may decide what I am. I
stand before you, but I do not know to-day whether I am legally a
"person" according to the law. It has been decided in some States
that we are not "persons." In the State of New York, in one
village, it was decided that women are not inhabitants. So I
should like to know whether I am a person, whether I am an
inhabitant, and above all I ask you for the ballot that I may
become a citizen of this great Republic.

Gentlemen, you see before you this great convention of women from
the Atlantic slopes to the Pacific Ocean, from the North to the
South. We are in dead earnest. A reform never goes backward. This
is a question that is before the American nation. Will you do your
duty and give us our liberty, or will you leave it for braver
hearts to do what must be done? For, like our forefathers, we will
ask until we have gained it.

Ever the world goes round and round; Ever the truth comes
uppermost; and ever is justice done.


Miss ANTHONY. I now have the pleasure of introducing to the
committee Mrs. Lillie Devereux Blake, of New York. New York is
a great State, and therefore it has three representatives here

Mrs. BLAKE. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee: A recent
writer in an English magazine, in speaking of the great advantage
which to-day flows to the laboring classes of that nation from
having received the right of suffrage, made the statement that
disfranchised classes are oppressed, not because there is any
desire whatever to do injustice to them, but because they are
forgotten. We have year after year and session after session of
our legislatures and of our Congresses proved the correctness
of this statement. While we have nothing to complain of in the
courtesy which we receive in private life, still when we see
masses of men assembled together for political action, whether
it be of the nation or of the State, we find that the women are
totally forgotten.

In the limited time that is mine I cannot go into any lengthy
exposition upon this point. I will simply call your attention to
the total forgetfulness of the Congress of the United States to
the debt owed to the women of this nation during the war. You
have passed a pension bill upon which there has been much comment
throughout the nation, and yet, when an old army nurse applies
for a pension, a woman who is broken down by her devotion to the
nation in hospitals and upon the battle-field, she is met at the
door of the Pension Bureau by this statement, "the Government has
made no appropriation for the services of women in the war." One
of these women is an old nurse whom some of you may remember,
Mother Bickerdyke, who went out onto many a battle-field when she
was in the prime of life, twenty years ago, and at the risk of her
life lifted men, who were wounded, in her arms, and carried them
to a place of safety. She is an old woman now, and where is she?
What reward the nation bestowed to her faithful services? The
nation has a pension for every man who has served this nation,
even down to the boy recruit who was out but three months; but
Mother Bickerdyke, though her health has never been good since her
service then, is earning her living at the wash-tub, a monument to
the ingratitude of a Republic as great as was that when Belisarius
begged in the streets of Rome.

I bring up this illustration alone out of innumerable others
that are possible, to try to impress upon your minds that we are
forgotten. It is not from any unkindness on your part. Who would
think for one moment, looking upon the kindly faces of this
committee, that any man on it would do an injustice to women,
especially if she were old and feeble? But because we have no
right to vote, as I said, our interests are overlooked and

It is often said that we have too many voters; that the aggregate
of vice and ignorance among us should not be increased by giving
women the right of suffrage. I wish to remind you of the fact that
in the enormous immigration that pours to our shores every year,
numbering somewhere in the neighborhood of half a million, there
come, twice as many men as women. The figures for the last year
were two hundred and twenty-three thousand men, and one hundred
and thirteen thousand women.

What does this mean? It means a steady influx of this foreign
element; it means a constant preponderance of the masculine over
the feminine; and it means also, of course, a preponderance of the
voting power of the foreigner as compared to the native born. To
those who fear that our American institutions are threatened by
this gigantic inroad of foreigners I commend the reflection that
the best safeguard against any such preponderance of foreign
nations or of foreign influence is to put the ballot in the hands
of the American-born women, And of all other women also, so that
if the foreign-born man overbalances us in numbers we shall be
always in a preponderance on the side of the liberty which is
secured by our institutions.

It is because, as many of my predecessors have said, of the
different elements represented by the two sexes, that we are
asking for this liberty. When I was recently in the capitol of my
own State of New York, I was reminded there of the difference of
temperament between the sexes by seeing how children act when
coming to the doors of the capitol, which have been constructed so
that they are very hard to open. Whether that is because they want
to keep us women out or not I am not able to say; but for some
reason the doors are so constructed that it is nearly impossible
to open them. I saw a number of little girls coming in through
those doors--every child held the door for those who were to
follow. A number of little boys followed just after, and every boy
rushed through and let the door shut in the face of the one
who was coming behind him. That is a good illustration of the
different qualities of the sexes. Those boys were not unkind, they
simply represented that onward push which is one of the grandest
characteristics of your sex; and the little girls, on the other
hand, represented that gentleness and thoughtfulness of others
which is eminently a characteristic of women.

This woman element is needed in every branch of the Government.
Look at the wholesale destruction of the forests throughout our
nation, which has gone on until it brings direct destruction
to the land on the lines of the great rivers of the West, and
threatens us even in New York with destroying at once the beauty
and usefulness of our far-famed Hudson. If women were in the
Government do you not think they would protect the economic
interests of the nation? They are the born and trained economists
of the world, and when you call them to your assistance you will
find an element that has not heretofore been felt with the weight
which it deserves.

As we walk through the Capitol we are struck with the significance
of the symbolism on every side; we view the adornments in the
beautiful room, and we find here everywhere emblematically woman's
figure. Here is woman representing even war, and there are women
representing grace and loveliness and the fullness of the harvest;
and, above all, they are extending their protecting arms over the
little children. Gentlemen, I leave you under this symbolism,
hoping that you will see in it the type of a coming day when we
shall have women and men united together in the national councils
in this great building.


Miss ANTHONY. I meant to have said, as I introduced Mrs. Blake,
that sitting on the sofa is Dr. Clemence S. Lozier, who declines
to speak, but I want her to stand up, because she represents New
York city.

Dr. LOZIER. I thank you, I am very happy to be here, but I am not
a fluent speaker. I feel in my heart that I know what justice
means; that I know what mercy means, and in all my rounds of duty
in my profession I am happy to extend not only food but shelter to
many poor ones. The need of the ballot for working-girls and those
who pay no taxes is not understood. The Saviour said, seeing the
poor widow cast her two mites, which make a farthing, into the
public treasury, "This poor widow hath cast more in than all they
which have cast into the treasury." I see this among the poor
working-girls of the city of New York; sick, in a little garret
bedroom, perhaps, and although needing medical care and needing
food, they will say to me, "above all things else, if I could
only pay the rent." The rent of their little rooms goes into the
coffers of their landlords and pays taxes. The poor women of the
city of New York and everywhere are the grandest upholders of this
Government. I believe they pay indirectly more taxes than the
monopoly kings of our country. It is for them that I want the


Miss ANTHONY. I now introduce to the committee Mrs. Elizabeth
Boynton Harbert, of Illinois, and before Mrs. Harbert speaks
I wish to say that for the last six years she has edited a
department of the Chicago Inter-Ocean called the "Women's

Mrs. HARBERT. Mr. Chairman and honorable gentlemen of the
committee, after the eloquent rhetoric to which you have listened
I merely come in these five minutes with a plain statement of
facts. Some friends have said, "Here is the same company of women
that year after year besiege you with their petitions." We are
here to-day in a representative capacity. From the great State of
Illinois I come, representing 200,000 men and women of that State
who have recorded their written petitions for woman's ballot,
90,000 of these being citizens under the law--male voters; those
90,000 having signed petitions for the right of women to vote on
the temperance question; 90,000 women also signed those petitions;
50,000 men and women signed the petitions for the school vote,
and nearly 60,000 more have signed petitions that the right of
suffrage might be accorded to woman.

This growth of public sentiment has been occasioned by the needs
of the children and the working-women of that great State. I
come here to ask you to make a niche in the statesmanship and
legislation of the nation for the domestic interests of the
people. You recognize that the masculine thought is more often
turned to the material and political interests of the nation. I
claim that the mother thought, the woman element needed, is
to supplement the concurrent statesmanship of American men on
political and industrial affairs with the domestic legislation of
the nation.

There are good men and women who believe that women should use
their influence merely through their social sphere. I believe both
of the great parties are represented by us. You remember that a
few weeks ago when there came across the country the news of
the decision of the Supreme Court as regards the negro race the
politicians sprang to the platform, and our editors hastened
to their sanctums, to proclaim to the people that that did not
interfere with the civil rights of the negro; that only their
social rights were affected, and that the civil rights of man,
those rights worth dying for, were not affected. Gentlemen, we who
are trying to help the men in our municipal governments, who are
trying to save the children from our poor-houses, begin to realize
that whatever is good and essential for the liberty of the black
man is good for the white woman and for all women. We are here to
claim that whatever liberty has done for you it should be allowed
to do for us. Take a single glance through the past; recognize the
position of American manhood before the world to-day, and whatever
liberty has done for you, liberty will surely do for the mothers
of the race.


Miss ANTHONY. Gentlemen of the committee, here is another woman I
wish to show you, Sarah E. Wall, of Worcester, Mass., who, for the
last twenty-five years, has resisted the tax gatherer when he came
around. I want you to look at her. She looks very harmless, but
she will not pay a dollar of tax. She says when the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts will give her the right of representation she
will pay her taxes. I do not know exactly how it is now, but the
assessor has left her name off the tax-list, and passed her by
rather than have a lawsuit with her.


Miss ANTHONY. I wish I could state the avocations and professions
of the various women who have spoken in our convention during the
last three days. I do not wish to speak disparagingly in regard to
the men in Congress, but I doubt if a man on the floor of either
House could have made a better speech than some of those which
have been made by women during this convention. Twenty-six States
and Territories are represented with live women, traveling all the
way from Kansas, Arkansas, Oregon, and Washington Territory. It
does seem to me that after all these years of coming up to this
Capitol an impression should be made upon the minds of legislators
that we are never to be silenced until we gain the demand. We
have never had in the whole thirty years of our agitation so many
States represented in any convention as we had this year.

This fact shows the growth of public sentiment. Mrs. Duniway is
here all the way from Oregon, and you say, when Mrs. Duniway is
doing so well up there, and is so hopeful of carrying the State
of Oregon, why do not you all rest satisfied with that plan of
gaining the suffrage? My answer is that I do not wish to see the
women of the thirty-eight States of this Union compelled to leave
their homes and canvass each State, school district by school
district. It is asking too much of a moneyless class of people,
disfranchised by the constitution of every State in the Union. The
joint earnings of the marriage copartnership in all the States
belong legally to the husband. If the wife goes outside the home
to work, the law in most of the States permits her to own and
control the money thus earned. We have not a single State in the
Union where the wife's earnings inside the marriage copartnership
are owned by her. Therefore, to ask the vast majority of women who
are thus situated, without an independent dollar of their own, to
make a canvass of the States is asking to much.

Mrs. GOUGAR. Why did they not ask the negro to do that?

Miss ANTHONY. Of course the negro was not asked to go begging
the white man from school district to school district to get his
ballot. If it was known that we could be driven to the ballot-box:
like a flock of sheep, and all vote for one party, there would
be a bid made for us; but that is not done, because we can not
promise you any such thing; because we stand before you and
honestly tell you that the women of this nation are educated
equally with the men, and that they, too, have political opinions.
There is not a woman on our platform, there is scarcely a woman
in this city of Washington, whether the wife of a Senator or a
Congressman--I do not believe you can find a score of women in the
whole nation--who have not opinions on the pending Presidential
election. We all have opinions; we all have parties. Some of us
like one party and one candidate and some another.

Therefore we can not promise you that women will vote as a unit
when they are enfranchised. Suppose the Democrats shall put a
woman suffrage plank in their platform in their Presidential
convention, and nominate an open and avowed friend of woman
suffrage to stand upon that platform; we can not pledge you that
all the women of this nation will work for the success of that
party, nor can I pledge you that they will all vote for the
Republican party if it should be the one to take the lead in their
enfranchisement. Our women will not toe a mark anywhere; they will
think and act for themselves, and when they are enfranchised they
will divide upon all political questions, as do intelligent,
educated men.

I have tried the experiment of canvassing four States prior to
Oregon, and in each State with the best canvass that it was
possible for us to make we obtained a vote of one-third. One man
out of every three men voted for the enfranchisement of the women
of their households, while two voted against it. But we are proud
to say that our splendid minority is always composed of the very
best men of the State, and I think Senator PALMER will agree with
me that the forty thousand men of Michigan who voted for the
enfranchisement of the women of his State were really the picked
men in intelligence, in culture, in morals, in standing, and in
every direction.

It is too much to say that the majority of the voters in any State
are superior, educated, and capable, or that they investigate
every question thoroughly, and cast the ballot thereon
intelligently. We all know that the majority of the voters of any
State are not of that stamp. The vast masses of the people, the
laboring classes, have all they can do in their struggle to get
food and shelter for their families. They have very little time or
opportunity to study great questions of constitutional law.

Because of this impossibility for women to canvass the States over
and over to educate the rank and file of the voters we come to
you to ask you to make it possible for the Legislatures of the
thirty-eight States to settle the question, where we shall have
a few representative men assembled before whom we can make our
appeals and arguments.

This method of settling the question by the Legislatures is just
as much in the line of States' rights as is that of the popular
vote. The one question before you is, will you insist that a
majority of the individual voters of every State must be converted
before its women shall have the right to vote, or will you
allow the matter to be settled by the representative men in the
Legislatures of the several States? You need not fear that we
shall get suffrage too quickly if Congress shall submit the
proposition, for even then we shall have a hard time in going
from Legislature to Legislature to secure the two-thirds votes of
three-fourths of the States necessary to ratify the amendment. It
may take twenty years after Congress has taken the initiative step
to make action by the State Legislatures possible.

I pray you, gentlemen, that you will make your report to the
Senate speedily. I know you are ready to make a favorable one.
Some of our speakers may not have known this as well as I. I ask
you to make a report and to bring it to a discussion and a vote on
the floor of the Senate.

You ask me if we want to press this question to a vote provided
there is not a majority to carry it. I say yes, because we want
the reflex influence of the discussion and of the opinions of
Senators to go back into the States to help us to educate the
people of the States.

Senator LAPHAM. It would require a two-thirds vote in both,
the House and the Senate to submit the amendment to the State
Legislatures for ratification.

Miss ANTHONY. I know that it requires a two-thirds vote of
both Houses. But still, I repeat, even if you can not get the
two-thirds vote, we ask you to report the bill and bring it to a
discussion and a vote at the earliest day possible. We feel that
this question should be brought before Congress at every session.
We ask this little attention from Congressmen whose salaries are
paid from the taxes; women do their share for the support of this
great Government, We think we are entitled to two or three days of
each session of Congress in both the Senate and House. Therefore I
ask of you to help us to a discussion in the Senate this session.
There is no reason why the Senate, composed of seventy-six of the
most intelligent and liberty-loving men of the nation, shall not
pass the resolution by a two-thirds vote, I really believe it will
do so if the friends on this committee and on the floor of the
Senate will champion the measure as earnestly as if it were to
benefit themselves instead of their mothers and sisters.

Gentlemen, I thank you for this hearing granted, and I hope the
telegraph wires will soon tell us that your report is presented,
and that a discussion is inaugurated on the floor of the Senate.


January 23, 1880._

The committee assembled at half-past 10 o'clock a.m.

Present: Mr. Thurman, chairman; Mr. McDonald, Mr. Bayard, Mr.
Davis, of Illinois; Mr. Edmunds.

Also Mrs. Zerelda G. Wallace, of Indiana; Mrs. Elizabeth L. Saxon,
of Louisiana; Mrs. Mary A. Stewart, of Delaware; Mrs. Lucinda
B. Chandler, of Pennsylvania; Mrs. Julia Smith Parker, of
Glastonbury, Conn.; Mrs. Nancy R. Allen, of Iowa; Miss Susan
B. Anthony, of New York; Mrs. Sara A. Spencer, of the city of
Washington, and others, delegates to the twelfth Washington
convention of the National Woman-Suffrage Association, held
January 2l and 22, 1880.

The CHAIRMAN. Several members of the committee are unable to
be here. Mr. Lamar is detained at his home in Mississippi by
sickness; Mr. Carpenter is confined to his room by sickness; Mr.
Conkling has been unwell; I do not know how he is this morning;
and Mr. Garland is chairman of the Committee on Territories, which
has a meeting this morning that he could not omit to attend. I do
not think we are likely to have any more members of the committee
than are here now, and we will hear you, ladies.


Mrs. WALLACE. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, it is
scarcely necessary to recite that there is not an effect without a
cause. Therefore it would be well for the statesmen of this nation
to ask themselves the question, what has brought the women from
all parts of this nation to the capital at this time: the wives
and mothers, and sisters; the home-loving, law-abiding women? What
has been the strong motive that has taken us away from the quiet
and comfort of our own homes and brought us before you to-day? As
an answer partly to that question, I will read an extract from a
speech made by one of Indiana's statesmen, and probably if I tell
you his name his sentiments may have some weight with you. He
found out by experience and gave us the benefit of his experience,
and it is what we are rapidly learning:

"You can go to meetings; you can vote resolutions; you can attend
great demonstrations on the street; but, after all, the only
occasion where the American citizen expresses his acts, his
opinion, and his power is at the ballot-box; and that little
ballot that he drops in there is the written sentiment of the
times, and it is the power that he has as a citizen of this great

That is the reason why we are here; that is the reason why we want
to vote. We are no seditious women, clamoring for any peculiar
rights, but we are patient women. It is not the woman question
that brings us before you to-day; it is the human question that
underlies this movement among the women of this nation; it is
for God, and home, and native land. We love and appreciate our
country; we value the institutions of our country. We realize that
we owe great obligations to the men of this nation for what
they have done. We realize that to their strength we owe the
subjugation of all the material forces of the universe which give
us comfort and luxury in our homes. We realize that to their
brains we owe the machinery that gives us leisure for intellectual
culture and achievement. We realize that it is to their education
we owe the opening of our colleges and the establishment of our
public schools, which give us these great and glorious privileges.

This movement is the legitimate result of this development, of
this enlightenment, and of the suffering that woman has undergone
in the ages past. We find ourselves hedged in at every effort
we make as mothers for the amelioration of society, as
philanthropists, as Christians.

A short time ago I went before the Legislature of Indiana with a
petition signed by 25,000 women, the best women in the State. I
appeal to the memory of Judge McDonald to substantiate the truth
of what I say. Judge McDonald knows that I am a home-loving,
law-abiding, tax-paying woman of Indiana, and have been for 50
years. When I went before our Legislature and found that 100 of
the vilest men in our State, merely by the possession of the
ballot, had more influence with the law-makers of our land than
the wives and mothers of the nation, it was a revelation that was
perfectly startling.

You must admit that in popular government the ballot is the most
potent means of all moral and social reforms. As members of
society, as those who are deeply interested in the promotion of
good morals, of virtue, and of the proper protection of men from
the consequences of their own vices, and of the protection of
women, too, we are deeply interested in all the social problems
with which you have grappled so long unsuccessfully. We do not
intend to depreciate your efforts, but you have attempted to do
an impossible thing. You have attempted to represent the whole by
one-half; and we come to you to day for a recognition of the fact
that humanity is not a unit; that it is a unity; and because we
are one-half that go to make up that grand unity we come before
you to-day and ask you to recognize our rights as citizens of this

We know that many of us lay ourselves liable to contumely and
ridicule. We have to meet sneers; but we are determined that in
the defense of right we will ignore everything but what we feel to
be our duty.

We do not come here as agitators, or aimless, dissatisfied,
unhappy women by any means; but we come as human beings,
recognizing our responsibility to God for the advantages that have
come to us in the development of the ages. We wish to discharge
that responsibility faithfully, effectually, and conscientiously,
and we can not do it under our form of government, hedged in as we
are by the lack of a power which is such a mighty engine in our
form of government for every means of work.

I say to you, then, we come as one-half of the great whole. There
is an essential difference in the sexes. Mr. Parkman labored very
hard to prove what no one would deny--that there is an essential
difference in the sexes, and it is because of that very
differentiation, the union of which in home, the recognition of
which in society, brings the greatest happiness, the recognition
of which in the church brings the greatest power and influence for
good, and the recognition of which in the Government would enable
us finally, as near as it is possible for humanity, to perfect our
form of government. Probably we can never have a perfect form of
government, but the nearer we approximate to the divine the nearer
will we attain to perfection; and the divine government recognizes
neither caste, class, sex, nor nationality. The nearer we approach
to that divine ideal the nearer we will come to realizing our
hopes of finally securing at least the most perfect form of human
government that it is possible for us to secure.

I do not wish to trespass upon your time, but I have felt that
this movement is not understood by a great majority of people.
They think that we are unhappy, that we are dissatisfied, that
we are restive. That is not the case. When we look over the
statistics of our State and find that 60 per cent. of all the
crime is the result of drunkenness; when we find that 60 per cent.
of the orphan children that fill our pauper homes are the children
of drunken parents; when we find that after a certain age the
daughters of those fathers who were made paupers and drunkards by
the approbation and sanction and under the seal of the Government,
go to supply our houses of prostitution, and when we find that
the sons of these fathers go to fill up our jails and our
penitentiaries, and that the sober, law-abiding men, the
pains-taking, economical, and many of them widowed wives of this
nation have to pay taxes and bear the expenses incurred by such
legislation, do you wonder, gentlemen, that we at least want to
try our hand and see what we can do?

We may not be able to bring about that Utopian form of government
which we all desire, but we can at least make an effort. Under our
form of government the ballot is our right; it is just and proper.
When you debate about the expediency of any matter you have no
right to say that it is inexpedient to do right. Do right and
leave the result to God. You will have to decide between one
of two things: either you have no claim under our form of
Constitution for the privileges which you enjoy, or you will have
to say that we are neither citizens nor persons.

Realizing this fact, and the deep interest that we take in the
successful issue of this experiment that humanity is making for
self-government, and realizing the fact that the ballot never can
be given to us under more favorable circumstances, and believing
that here on this continent is to be wrought out the great problem
of man's ability to govern himself--and when I say man I use the
word in the generic sense--that humanity here is to work out
the great problems of self-government and development, and
recognizing, as I said a few minutes ago, that we are one-half of
the great whole, we feel that we ought to be heard when we come
before you and make the plea that we make to-day.


Mrs. PARKER. Gentlemen: You may be surprised, and not so much
surprised as I am, to see a woman of over four-score years of
age appear before you at this time. She came into the world and
reached years of maturity and discretion before any person in this
room was born. She now comes before you to plead that she can vote
and have all the privileges that men have. She has suffered so
much individually that she thought when she was young she had no
right to speak before the men; but still she had courage to get an
education equal to that of any man at the college, and she had
to suffer a great deal on that account. She went to New Haven to
school, and it was noised that she had studied the languages. It
was such an astonishing thing for girls at that time to have the
advantages of education that I had absolutely to go to cotillon
parties to let people see that I had common sense. [Laughter.]

She has suffered; she had to pay money. She has had to pay $200 a
year in taxes without the least privilege of knowing what becomes
of it. She does not know but that it goes to support grog-shops.
She knows nothing about it. She has had to suffer her cows to be
sold at the sign-post six times. She suffered her meadow land to
be sold, worth $2,000, for a tax of less than $50. If she could
vote as the men do she would not have suffered this insult; and so
much would not have been said against her as has been said if men
did not have the whole power. I was told that they had the power
to take any thing that I owned if I would not exert myself to
pay the money. I felt that fought to have some little voice in
determining what should be done with what I paid. I felt that I
ought to own my own property; that it ought not to be in these
men's hands; and I now come to plead that I may have the same
privileges before the law that men have. I have seen what a
difference there is, when I have had my cows sold, by having a
voter to take my part.

I have come from an obscure town (I can not say that it is obscure
exactly) on the banks of the Connecticut, where I was born. I
was brought up on a farm. I never had an idea that it could be
possible that I should ever come all the way to Washington to
speak before those who had not come into existence when I was
born. Now, I plead that there may be a sixteenth amendment, and
that women may be allowed the privilege of owning their own
property. That is what I have taken pains to accomplish. I have
suffered so much myself that I felt it might have some effect to
plead before this honorable committee. I thank you, gentlemen, for
hearing me so kindly.


Mrs. SAXON. Gentleman, I almost feel that after Mrs. Wallace's
plea there is scarcely a necessity for me to say anything; she
echoed my own feelings so entirely. I come from the extreme South,
she from the West. In this delegation, and in the convention which
has just been held in this city, women have come together who
never met before. People have asked me why I came.

I care nothing for suffrage so far as to stand beside men, or rush
to the polls, or take any privilege outside of my home, only, as
Mrs. Wallace says, for humanity. Years ago, when a little child,
I lost my mother, and I was brought up by a man. If I have not a
man's brain I had at least a man's instruction. He taught me that
to work in the cause of reform for women was just as great as to
work in the cause of reform for men. But in every effort I made in
the cause of reform I was combated in one direction or another.
I never took part with the suffragists. I never realized the
importance of their cause until we were beaten back on every aide
in the work of reform. If we attempted to put women in charge of
prisons, believing that wherever woman sins and suffers women
should be there to teach, help, and guide, every place was in the
hands of men. If we made an effort to get women on the school
boards we were combated and could do nothing. Everyplace seemed to
be changed, when there were good men in those places, by changes
of politics; and the mothers of the land, having had to prostrate
themselves as beggars, if not in fact, really in sentiment and
feeling, have become at last almost desperate.

In the State of Texas I had a niece living whose father was an
inmate of a lunatic asylum. She exerted as wide an influence in
the State of Texas as any woman there. I allude to Miss Mollie
Moore, who was the ward of Mr. Gushing. I give this illustration
as a reason why Southern women are taking part in this movement,
Mr. Wallace had charge of that lunatic asylum for years. He was a
good, honorable, able man. Every one was endeared to him; every
one appreciated him; the State appreciated him as superintendent
of this asylum.

When a political change was made and Governor Robinson came in,
Dr. Wallace was ousted for political purposes. It almost broke the
hearts of some of the women who had sons, daughters, or husbands
there. They determined at once to try to seek some redress and
have him reinstated. It was impossible. He was out, and what could
we do? I do not know that we could reach a case like that; but
such cases have stirred the women of the whole land, for the
reason that when they try to do good, or want to help in the cause
of humanity, they are combated so bitterly and persistently.

I leave it to older and abler women, who have labored in this
cause so long, to prove whether it is or is not constitutional to
give the ballot to women.

A gentleman said to me a few days ago, "These women want to
marry." I am married; I am a mother; and in our home the sons and
brothers are all standing like a wall of steel at my back. I have
cast aside every prejudice of the past. They lie like rotted hulks
behind me.

After the fever of 1878, when our constitutional convention was
going to convene, broke the agony and grief of my own heart, for
one of my children died, and took part in the suffrage movement in
Louisiana, with the wife of Chief-Justice Merrick, Mrs. Sarah A.
Dorsey, and Mrs. Harriet Keatinge, of New York, the niece of Mr.
Lozier. These three ladies aided me faithfully and ably. When they
found we would be received, I went before the convention. I went
to Lieutenant-Governor Wiltz, and asked him if he would present or
consider a petition which I wished to bring before the convention.
He read the petition. One clause of our State law is that no woman
can sign a will. We will have that question decided before the
meeting of the next Legislature. Some ladies donated property to
an asylum. They wrote the will and signed it themselves, and
it was null and void, because the signers were women. They not
knowing the law, believed that they were human beings, and signed
it. That clause, perhaps, will be wiped out. Many gentlemen signed
the petition on that account. I took the paper around myself.
Governor Wiltz, then lieutenant-governor, told me he would present
the petition. He was elected president of the convention. I
presented my first petition, signed by the best names in the city
of New Orleans and in the State.

I had the names of seven of the most prominent physicians there,
leading with the name of Dr. Logan, and many men, seeing the name
of Dr. Samuel Logan, also signed it. I went to all the different
physicians and ministers. Three prominent ministers signed it for
moral purposes alone. When Mrs. Horsey was on her dying bed the
last time she ever signed her name was to a letter to go before
that convention. No one believed she would die. Mrs. Merrick
and myself went before the convention. I was invited before the
committee on the judiciary. I made an impression favorable enough
there to be invited before the convention with these ladies. I
addressed the convention. We made the petition then that we make
here; that we, the mothers of the land, are barred on every side
in the cause of reform. I have strived hard in the work of reform
for women. I pledged my father on his dying bed that I would never
cease that work until woman stood with man equal before the law,
so far as my efforts could accomplish it. Finding myself baffled
in that work, I could only take the course which we have adopted,
and urge the proposition of the sixteenth amendment.

I beg of you, gentlemen, to consider this question apart from the
manner in which it was formerly considered. We, as the women of
the nation, as the mothers, as the wives, have a right to be
heard, it seems to me, before the nation. We represent precisely
the position of the colonies when they plead, and, in the words of
Patrick Henry, they were "spurned with contempt from the foot of
the throne." We have been jeered and laughed at and ridiculed; but
this question has passed out of the region of ridicule.

The moral force inheres in woman and in man alike, and unless we
use all the moral power of the Government we certainly can not
exist as a Government.

We talk of centralization, we talk of division; we have the seeds
of decay in our Government, and unless right soon we use the moral
force and bring it forward in all its strength and bearing, we
certainly cannot exist as a happy nation. We do not exist as a
happy nation now. This clamor for woman's suffrage, for woman's
rights, for equal representation, is extending all over the land.

I plead because my work has been combatted in the cause of reform
everywhere that I have tried to accomplish anything. The children
that fill the houses of prostitution are not of foreign blood and
race. They come from sweet American homes, and for every woman
that went down some mother's heart broke. I plead by the power of
the ballot to be allowed to help reform women and benefit mankind.


Mrs. STEWART. I come from a small State, but one that is
represented in this Congress, I consider, by some of the ablest
men in the land. Our State, though small, has heretofore possessed
and to-day possesses brains. Our sons have no more right to brains
than our daughters, yet we are tied down by every chain that could
bind the Georgian slave before the war. Aye, we are worse slaves,
because the Georgian slave could go to the sale block and there be
sold. The woman of Delaware must submit to her chains, as there is
no sale for her; she is of no account.

Woman from all time has occupied the highest positions in the
world. She is just as competent to-day as she was hundreds of
years ago. We are taxed without representation; there is no
mistake about that. The colonies screamed that to England;
Parliament screamed back, "Be still; long live the king, and we
will help you." Did the colonies submit? They did not. Will the
women of this country submit? They will not. Mark me, we are the
sisters of those fighting Revolutionary men; we are the daughters
of the fathers who sang back to England that they would not
submit. Then, if the same blood courses in our veins that courses
in yours, dare you expect us to submit?

The white men of this country have thrown out upon us, the women,
a race inferior, you must admit, to your daughters, and yet that
race has the ballot, and why? He has a right to it; he earned and
paid for it with his blood. Whose blood paid for yours? Not your
blood; it was the blood of your forefathers; and were they not our
forefathers? Does a man earn a hundred thousand dollars and lie
down and die, saying, "It is all my boys'?" Not a bit of it. He
dies saying, "Let my children, be they cripples, be they idiots,
be they boys, or be they girls, inherit all my property alike."
Then let us inherit the sweet boon of the ballot alike.

When our fathers were driving the great ship of state we were
willing to ride as deck or cabin passengers, just as we felt
disposed; we had nothing to say; but to-day the boys are about to
run the ship aground, and it is high time that the mothers should
be asking, "What do you mean to do?" It is high time that the
mothers should be demanding what they should long since have had.

In our own little State the laws have been very much modified in
regard to women. My father was the first man to blot out the old
English law allowing the eldest son the right of inheritance to
the real estate. He took the first step, and like all those who
take first steps in improvement and reform he received a mountain
of curses from the oldest male heirs; but it did not matter to

Since 1868 I have, by my own individual efforts, by the use of
hard-earned money, gone to our Legislature time after time and
have had this law and that law passed for the benefit of the
women; and the same little ship of state has sailed on. To-day our
men are just as well satisfied with the laws of our State for the
benefit of women in force as they were years ago. In our State a
woman has a right to make a will. In our State she can hold bonds
and mortgages as her own. In our State she has a right to her
own property. She can not sell it, though, if it is real estate,
simply because the moment she marries her husband has a life-time
right. The woman does not grumble at that; but still when he dies
owning real estate, she gets only the rental value of one-third,
which is called the widow's dower. Now I think the man ought to
have the rental value of one-third of the woman's maiden property
or real estate, and it ought to be called the widower's dower. It
would be just as fair for one as for the other. All that I want is

The women of our State, as I said before, are taxed without
representation. The tax-gatherer comes every year and demands
taxes. For twenty years have I paid tax under protest, and if I
live twenty years longer I shall pay it under protest every time.
The tax-gatherer came to my place not long since. "Well," said I,
"good morning, sir." Said he, "Good morning." He smiled and said,
"I have come bothering you." Said I, "I know your face well. You
have come to get a right nice little woman's tongue-lashing."
Said he, "I suppose so, but if you will just pay your tax I will
leave." I paid the tax, "But," said I, "remember I pay it under
protest, and if I ever pay another tax I intend to have the
protest written and make the tax-gatherer sign it before I pay the
tax, and if he will not sign that protest then I shall not pay the
tax, and there will be a fight at once." Said he, "Why do you keep
all the time protesting against paying this small tax?" Said I,
"Why do you pay your tax?" "Well," said he, "I would not pay it
if I did not vote." Said I, "That is the very reason why I do not
want to pay it. I can not vote and I do not want to pay it." Now
the women have no right when election day comes around. Who stay
at home from the election? The women and the black and white men
who have been to the whipping-post. Nice company to put your wives
and daughters in.

It is said that the women do not want to vote. Here is an array
of women. Every woman sitting here wants to vote, and must we be
debarred the privilege of voting because some luxurious woman,
rolling around in her carriage and pair in her little downy nest
that some good, benevolent man has provided for her, does not want
to vote?

There was a society that existed up in the State of New York
called the Covenanters that never voted. A man who belonged to
that sect or society, a man whiter-haired than any of you, said to
me, "I never voted. I never intended to vote, I never felt that
I could conscientiously support a Government that had its
Constitution blotted and blackened with the word 'slave,' and I
never did vote until after the abolition of slavery." Now, were
all you men disfranchised because that class or sect up in New
York would not vote? Did you all pay your taxes and stay at home
and refrain from voting because the Covenanters did not vote? Not
a bit of it. You went to the election and told them to stay at
home if they wanted to, but that you, as citizens, were going to
take care of yourselves. That was right. We, as citizens, want to
take care of ourselves.

One more thought and I will be through. The fourteenth and
fifteenth amendments give the right of suffrage to women, so
far as I know, although you learned men perhaps see a little
differently. I see through the glass dimly; you may see through it
after it is polished up. The fourteenth and fifteenth amendments,
in my opinion, and in the opinion of a great many smart men in the
country, and smart women, too, give the right to women to vote
without, any "ifs" or "ands" about it, and the United States
protects us in it; but there are a few who construe the law to
suit themselves, and say that those amendments do not mean that,
because the Congress that passed the fourteenth and fifteenth
amendments did not mean to do that. Well, the Congress that passed
them were mean enough for anything if they did not mean to do
that. Let the wise Congress of to-day take the eighth chapter and
the fourth verse of the Psalms, which says, "What is man, that
Thou art mindful of him?" and amend it by adding, "What is woman,
that they never thought of her?"


Mrs. CHANDLER. Gentlemen, it will be conceded that the progress of
civilization, all that lifts humanity above a groveling, sensual,
depraved state, is marked by the position, intelligence, and
culture of women. Perhaps you think that American women have no
rightful claim to present; but American women and mothers do claim
that they should have the power to protect their children, not
only at the hearthstone, but to supervise their education. It is
neither presuming nor unwomanly for the mothers and women of the
land to claim that they are competent and best fitted, and that
it rightfully belongs to them to take part in the management and
control of the schools, and the instruction, both intellectual
and moral, of their children, and that in penal, eleemosynary, or
reformatory institutions women should have positions as inspectors
of prisons, physicians, directors, and superintendents.

I have here a brief report from an association which sent me as a
delegate to the National Woman Suffrage Convention, in which it is
stated that women in Pennsylvania can be elected as directors on
school boards or superintendents of schools, but can not help to
elect those officers. It must very readily occur to your minds
that when women take such interest in the schools as mothers must
needs take they must feel many a wish to control the election of
the officers, superintendents, and managers of the schools. The
ladies here from New York city could, if they had time, give you
much testimony in regard to the management of schools in New York
city, and the need there of woman's love and woman's power in the
schools and on the school boards. I am also authorized by
the association which sent me here to report that the
woman-suffragists and some other woman organizations of the city
of Philadelphia, have condemned in resolution the action of the
governor a year ago, I think, in vetoing a bill which passed
largely both houses of the Legislature to appoint women inspectors
of prisons. On such questions woman feels the need of the ballot.

The mothers of this land, having breathed the air of freedom and
received the benefits of education, have come to see the necessity
of better conditions to fulfill their divinely appointed and
universally recognized office. The mothers of this land claim that
they have a right to assist in making the laws which control the
social relations. We are under the laws inherited from barbarism.
They are not the conditions suited to the best exercise of the
office of woman, and the women desire the ballot to purge society
of the vices that are sure to disintegrate the home, the State,
the nation.

I shall not occupy your time further this morning. I only present
briefly the mother's claim, as it is so universally conceded. We
now have in our schools a very large majority of women teachers,
and it seems to me no one can but recognize the fact that mothers,
through their experience in the family, mothers who are at all
competent and fit to fulfill their position as mothers in the
family, are best fitted to understand the needs and at least
should have an equal voice in directing the management of the
schools, and also the management of penal and reformatory

I was in hopes that Mrs. Wallace would give you the testimony she
gave us in the convention of the wonderful, amazing good that was
accomplished in a reformatory institution where an incorrigible
woman was taken from the men's prison and became not only very
tractable, but very helpful in an institution under the influence
and management of women. That reformatory institution is managed
wholly by women. There is not a man, Mrs. Wallace says, in the
building, except the engineer who controls the fire department.
Under a management wholly by women, the institution is a very
great success. We feel sure that in many ways the influence and
power that the mothers bring would tend to convert many conditions
that are now tending to destruction through vices, would tend
to elevate us morally, purify us, bring us still higher in the
standard of humanity, and make us what we ought to be, a holy as
well as a happy nation.


Mrs. SPENCER. Miss Susan B. Anthony was chosen to present the
constitutional argument in our case before the committee. Unless
there is more important business for the individual members of the
committee than the protection of one-half of our population, I
trust that the limit fixed for our hearing will be extended.

The CHAIRMAN. Miss Anthony is entitled to an hour.

Mrs. SPENCER. Good. Miss Anthony is from the United States; the
whole United States claim her.

Mrs. ALLEN. I have made arrangements with Miss Anthony to say all
that I feel it necessary for me to say at this time.

Mrs. SPENCER. I have been so informed.


Mrs. ALLEN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the Judiciary Committee:
I am not a State representative, but I am a representative of a
large class of women, citizens of Iowa, who are heavy tax-payers.
That is a subject which we are very seriously contemplating at
this time. There is now a petition being circulated throughout our
State, to be presented to the legislature, praying that women
be exempted from taxation until they have some voice in the
management of local affairs of the State. You may ask, "Do not
your husbands protect you? Are not all the men protecting you?" We
answer that our husbands are grand, noble men, who are willing to
do all they can for us, but there are many who have no husbands,
and who own a great deal of property in the State of Iowa.
Particularly in great moral reforms the women there feel the need
of the ballot. By presenting long petitions to the Legislature
they have succeeded in having better temperance laws enacted, but
the men have failed to elect officials who will enforce those
laws. Consequently they have become as dead letters upon the

I would refer again to taxes. I have a list showing that in my
city three women pay more taxes than all the city officials
included. Those women are good temperance women. Our city council
is composed almost entirely of saloon men and those who visit
saloons and brewery men. There are some good men, but the good men
being in the minority, the voices of these women are but little
regarded. All these officials are paid, and we have to help
support them. All that we ask is an equality of rights. As Sumner
said, "Equality of rights is the first of rights." If we can only
be equal with man under the law it is all that we ask. We do not
propose to relinquish our domestic circles; in fact, they are too
dear to us for that; they are dear to us as life itself, but we
do ask that we may be permitted to be represented. Equality of
taxation without representation is tyranny.


Miss ANTHONY: Mr. Chairman and gentlemen: Mrs. Spencer said that I
would make an argument. I do not propose to do so, because I take
it for granted that the members of this committee understand that
we have all the argument on our side, and such an argument would
be simply a series of platitudes and maxims of government. The
theory of this Government from the beginning has been perfect
equality to all the people. That is shown by every one of the
fundamental principles, which I need not stop to repeat. Such
being the theory, the application would be, of course, that all
persons not having forfeited their right to representation in the
Government should be possessed of it at the age of twenty-one. But
instead of adopting a practice in conformity with the theory of
our Government, we began first by saying that all men of property
were the people of the nation upon whom the Constitution conferred
equality of rights. The next step was that all white men were
the people to whom should be practically applied the fundamental
theories. There we halt to-day and stand at a deadlock, so far as
the application of our theory may go. We women have been standing
before the American republic for thirty years, asking the men to
take yet one step further and extend the practical application of
the theory of equality of rights to all the people to the other
half of the people--the women. That is all that I stand here
to-day to attempt to demand.

Of course, I take it for granted that the committee are in
sympathy at least with the reports of the Judiciary Committees
presented both in the Senate and the House. I remember that after
the adoption of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments Senator
EDMUNDS reported on the petition of the ten thousand foreign-born
citizens of Rhode Island who were denied equality of rights in
Rhode Island simply because of their foreign birth; and in that
report held that the amendments were enacted and attached to the
Constitution simply for men of color, and therefore that their
provisions could not be so construed as to bring within their
purview the men of foreign birth in Rhode Island. Then the House
Committee on the Judiciary, with Judge Bingham, of Ohio, at its
head, made a similar report upon our petitions, holding that
because those amendments were made essentially with the black men
in view, therefore their provisions could not be extended to the
women citizens of this country or to any class except men citizens
of color.

I voted in the State of New York in 1872 under the construction
of those amendments, which we felt to be the true one, that all
persons born in the United States, or any State thereof, and under
the jurisdiction of the United States, were citizens, and entitled
to equality of rights, and that no State could deprive them of
their equality of rights. I found three young men, inspectors of
election, who were simple enough to read the Constitution and
understand it in accordance with what was the letter and what
should have been its spirit. Then, as you will remember, I was
prosecuted by the officers of the Federal court, And the cause was
carried through the different courts in the State of New York,
in the northern district, and at last I was brought to trial at

When Mr. Justice Hunt was brought from the supreme bench to sit
upon that trial, he wrested my case from the hands of the jury
altogether, after having listened three days to testimony, and
brought in a verdict himself of guilty, denying to my counsel even
the poor privilege of having the jury polled. Through all that
trial when I, as a citizen of the United States, as a citizen of
the State of New York and city of Rochester, as a person who had
done something at least that might have entitled her to a voice in
speaking for herself and for her class, in all that trial I not
only was denied my right to testify as to whether I voted or not,
but there was not one single woman's voice to be heard nor to be
considered, except as witnesses, save when it came to the judge
asking, "Has the prisoner any thing to say why sentence shall not
be pronounced?" Neither as judge, nor as attorney, nor as jury was
I allowed any person who could be legitimately called my peer to
speak for me.

Then, as you will remember, Mr. Justice Hunt not only pronounced
the verdict of guilty, but a sentence of $100 fine and costs of
prosecution. I said to him, "May it please your honor, I do not
propose to pay it;" and I never have paid it, and I never shall. I
asked your honorable bodies of Congress the next year--in 1874--to
pass a resolution to remit that fine. Both Houses refused it; the
committees reported against it; though through Benjamin F. Butler,
in the House, and a member of your committee, and Matthew H.
Carpenter, in the Senate, there were plenty of precedents brought
forward to show that in the cases of multitudes of men fines had
been remitted. I state this merely to show the need of woman to
speak for herself, to be as judge, to be as juror.

Mr. Justice Hunt in his opinion stated that suffrage was a
fundamental right, and therefore a right that belonged to the
State. It seemed to me that was just as much of a retroversion
of the theory of what is right in our Government as there could
possibly be. Then, after the decision in my case came that of Mrs.
Minor, of Missouri. She prosecuted the officers there for denying
her the right to vote. She carried her case up to your Supreme
Court, and the Supreme Court answered her the same way; that the
amendments were made for black men; that their provisions could
not protect women; that the Constitution of the United States has
no voters of its own.

Mrs. SPENCER. And you remember Judge Cartier's decision in my

Miss ANTHONY. Mr. Cartier said that women are citizens and may be
qualified, &c., but that it requires some sort of legislation to
give them the right to vote.

The Congress of the United States notwithstanding, and the Supreme
Court of the United States notwithstanding, with all deference and
respect, I differ with them all, and know that I am right and that
they are wrong. The Constitution of the United States as it
is protects me. If I could get a practical application of the
Constitution it would protect me and all women in the enjoyment
of perfect equality of rights everywhere under the shadow of the
American flag.

I do not come to you to petition for special legislation, or for
any more amendments to the Constitution, because I think they are
unnecessary, but because you say there is not in the Constitution
enough to protect me. Therefore I ask that you, true to your own
theory and assertion, should go forward to make more constitution.

Let me remind you that in the case of all other classes of
citizens under the shadow of our flag you have been true to the
theory that taxation and representation are inseparable. Indians
not taxed are not counted in the basis of representation, and are
not allowed to vote; but the minute that your Indians are counted
in the basis of representation and are allowed to vote they are
taxed; never before. In my State of New York, and in nearly
all the States, the members of the State militia, hundreds and
thousands of men, are exempted from taxation on property; in my
State to the value of $800, and in most of the States to a value
in that neighborhood. While such a member of the militia lives,
receives his salary, and is able to earn money, he is exempted;
but when he dies the assessor puts his widow's name down upon the
assessor's list, and the tax-collector never fails to call upon
the widow and make her pay the full tax upon her property. In most
of the States clergymen are exempted. In my State of New York they
are exempted on property to the value of $1,500. As long as the
clergyman lives and receives his fat salary, or his lean one, as
the case may be, he is exempted on that amount of property; but
when the breath leaves the body of the clergyman, and the widow
is left without any income, or without any means of support, the
State comes in and taxes the widow.

So it is with regard to all black men. In the State of New York up
to the day of the passage of the fifteenth amendment, black men
who were willing to remain without reporting themselves worth as
much as $250, and thereby to remain without exercising the right
to vote, never had their names put on the assessor's list; they
were passed by, while, if the poorest colored woman owned 50 feet
of real estate, a little cabin anywhere, that colored woman's name
was always on the assessor's list, and she was compelled to pay
her tax. While Frederick Douglas lived in my State he was never
allowed to vote until he could show himself worth the requisite
$250; and when he did vote in New York, he voted not because he
was a man, not because he was a citizen of the United States, nor
yet because he was a citizen of the State, but simply because he
was worth the requisite amount of money. In Connecticut both black
men and black women were exempted from taxation prior to the
adoption of the fifteenth amendment.

The law was amended in 1848, by which black men were thus
exempted, and black women followed the same rule in that State.
That, I believe, is the only State where black women were exempted
from taxation under the law. When the fourteenth and fifteenth
amendments were attached to the Constitution they carried to the
black man of Connecticut the boon of the ballot as well as the
burden of taxation, whereas they carried to the black woman of
Connecticut the burden of taxation, but no ballot by which to
protect her property. I know a colored woman in New Haven, Conn.,
worth $50,000, and she never paid a penny of taxation until the
ratification of the fifteenth amendment. From that day on she is
compelled to pay a heavy tax on that amount of property.

Mrs. SPENCER. Is it because she is a citizen? Please explain.

Miss ANTHONY. Because she is black.

Mrs. SPENCER. Is it because the fourteenth and fifteenth
amendments made women citizens?

Miss ANTHONY. Certainly; because it declared the black people

Gentlemen, you have before you various propositions of amendment
to the Federal Constitution. One is for the election of President
by the vote of the people direct. Of course women are not people.

Senator EDMUNDS. Angels.

Miss ANTHONY. Yes; angels up in heaven or else devils down there.

Senator EDMUNDS. I have never known any of that kind.

Miss ANTHONY. I wish you, gentlemen, would look down there and see
the myriads that are there. We want to help them and lift them up.
That is exactly the trouble with you, gentlemen; you are forever
looking at your own wives, your own mothers, your own sisters, and
your own daughters, and they are well cared for and protected; but
only look down to the struggling masses of women who have no one
to protect them, neither husband, father, brother, son, with no
mortal in all the land to protect them. If you would look down
there the question would be solved; but the difficulty is that you
think only of those who are doing well. We are not speaking for
ourselves, but for those who can not speak for themselves. We are
speaking for the doomed as much as you, Senator EDMUNDS, used to
speak for the doomed on the plantations of the South.

Amendments have been proposed to put God in the Constitution and
to keep God out of the Constitution. All sorts of propositions to
amend the Constitution have been made; but I ask that you allow no
other amendment to be called the sixteenth but that which shall
put into the hands of one-half of the entire people of the nation
the right to express their opinions as to how the Constitution
shall be amended henceforth. Women have the right to say whether
we shall have God in the Constitution as well as men. Women have a
right to say whether we shall have a national law or an amendment
to the Constitution prohibiting the importation or manufacture of
alcoholic liquors. We have a right to have our opinions counted on
every possible question concerning the public welfare.

You ask us why we do not get this right to vote first in the
school districts, and on school questions, or the questions
of liquor license. It has been shown very clearly why we need
something more than that. You have good enough laws to-day in
every State in this Union for the suppression of what are termed
the social vices; for the suppression of the grog-shops, the
gambling houses, the brothels, the obscene shows. There is plenty
of legislation in every State in this Union for their suppression
if it could be executed. Why is the Government, why are the States
and the cities, unable to execute those laws? Simply because there
is a large balance of power in every city that does not want those
laws executed. Consequently both parties must alike cater to that
balance of political power. The party that puts a plank in its
platform that the laws against the grog-shops and all the other
sinks of iniquity must be executed, is the party that will not get
this balance of power to vote for it, and, consequently, the party
that can not get into power.

What we ask of you is that you will make of the women of the
cities a balance of political power, so that when a mayor, a
member of the common council, a supervisory justice of the peace,
a district attorney, a judge on the bench even, shall go before
the people of that city as a candidate for the suffrages of the
people he shall not only be compelled to look to the men who
frequent the grog-shops, the brothels, and the gambling houses,
who will vote for him if he is not in favor of executing the law,
but that he shall have to look to the mothers, the sisters, the
wives, the daughters of those deluded men to see what they will do
if he does not execute the law.

We want to make of ourselves a balance of political power. What we
need is the power to execute the laws. We have got laws enough.
Let me give you one little fact in regard to my own city of
Rochester. You all know how that wonderful whip called the
temperance crusade roused the whisky ring. It caused the whisky
force to concentrate itself more strongly at the ballot-box than
ever before, so that when the report of the elections in the
spring of 1874 went over the country the result was that the
whisky ring was triumphant, and that the whisky ticket was elected
more largely than ever before. Senator Thurman will remember

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