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Title: Debate on Woman Suffrage in the Senate of the United States, - 2d Session, 49th Congress, December 8, 1886, and January 25, 1887
Author: Various
Language: English
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                   WOMAN SUFFRAGE

                       IN THE
              2D SESSION, 49TH CONGRESS,
        DECEMBER 8, 1886, AND JANUARY 23, 1887,


             G.G. VEST, AND GEO. F. HOAR.


       *       *       *       *       *

_Wednesday, December 8, 1886._

On the joint resolution (S.R. 5) proposing an amendment to the
Constitution of the United States extending the right of suffrage to

Mr. BLAIR said:

Mr. PRESIDENT: I ask the Senate to proceed to the consideration of
Order of Business 122, being the joint resolution (S.R. 5) proposing
an amendment to the Constitution of the United States extending the
right of suffrage to women.

The motion was agreed to.

The PRESIDENT _pro tempore_. The joint resolution will be read.

The Chief Clerk read as follows:

    Joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the
    United States extending the right of suffrage to women.

    _Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
    States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House
    concurring therein)_, That the following article be proposed to
    the Legislatures of the several States as an amendment to the
    Constitution of the United States; which, when ratified by
    three-fourths of the said Legislatures, shall be valid as part of
    said Constitution, namely:


    SECTION 1. The rights of citizens of the United States to vote
    shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any
    State on account of sex.

    SEC. 2. The Congress shall have power, by appropriate legislation,
    to enforce the provisions of this article.

Mr. BLAIR. Mr. President, the question before the Senate is this:
Shall a joint resolution providing for an amendment of the national
Constitution, so that the right of citizens of the United States to
vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by
any State, on account of sex, and that Congress shall have power to
enforce the article, be submitted to the Legislatures of the several
States for ratification or rejection?

The answer to this question does not depend necessarily upon the
reply to that other question, whether women ought to be permitted
to exercise the right or privilege of suffrage as do men. The
Legislatures of the several States must decide this in ratifying or
rejecting the proposed amendment.

Upon solemn occasions concerning grave public affairs, and when large
numbers of the citizens of the country desire to test the sentiments
of the people upon an amendment of the organic law in the manner
provided to be done by the provisions of that law, it may well become
the duty of Congress to submit the proposition to the amending power,
which is the same as that which created the original instrument
itself--the people of the several States.

It can hardly be claimed that two-thirds of each branch of Congress
must necessarily be convinced that the Constitution should be amended
as proposed in the joint resolution to be submitted before it has
discretion to submit the same to the judgment of the States. Any
citizen has the right to petition or, through his representative, to
bring in his bill for redress of grievances, or to promote the public
good by legislation; and it can hardly be maintained that, before
any citizen or large body of citizens shall have the privilege of
introducing a bill to the great legislative tribunal, which alone has
primary jurisdiction of the organic law and power to amend or change
it, the Congress, which under the Constitution is simply the moving or
initiating power, must by a two-thirds vote approve the proposition
at issue before its discussion shall be permitted in the forum of the
States. To hold such a doctrine would be contrary to all our ideas of
free discussion, and to lock up the institutions and the interests of
a great and progressive people in fetters of brass.

It is only essential that two-thirds of each House of the Congress
shall deem it necessary for the public good, that the amendment
be proposed to the States for their action. But two-thirds of the
Congress will hardly consider it "necessary" to submit a joint
resolution proposing an amendment of the National Constitution to
the States for consideration, unless the subject matter be of grave
importance, with strong reasons in its favor, and a large support
already developed among the people themselves.

If there be any principle upon which our form of government is
founded, and wherein it is different from aristocracies, monarchies,
and despotisms, that principle is this:

Every human being of mature powers, not disqualified by ignorance,
vice or crime, is the equal of and is entitled to all the rights and
privileges which belong to any other such human being under the law.

The independence, equality, and dignity of all human souls is the
fundamental assertion of those who believe in what we call human
freedom. This principle will hardly be denied by any one, even by
those who oppose the adoption of the resolution. But we are informed
that infants, idiots, and women are represented by men. This cannot
reasonably be claimed unless it be first shown that the consent of
these classes has been given to such representation, or that they
lack the capacity to consent. But the exclusion of these classes from
participation in the Government deprives them of the power of assent
to representation even when they possess the requisite ability; and to
say there can be representation which does not presuppose consent
or authority on the part of the principal who is represented is to
confound all reason and to assert in substance that all actual power,
whether despotic or otherwise, is representative, and therefore free.
In this sense the Czar represents his whole people, just as voting men
represent women who do not vote at all.

True it is that the voting men, by excluding women and other classes
from the suffrage, by that act charge themselves with the trust of
administering justice to all, even as the monarch whose power is based
upon force is bound to rule uprightly. But if it be true that "all
just government is founded upon the consent of the governed," then
the government of woman by man, without her consent, given in her
sovereign capacity, if indeed she be an intelligent creature, and
provided she be competent to exercise the power of suffrage, which is
the sovereignty, even if that government be wise and just in itself,
is a violation of natural right and an enforcement of servitude and
slavery against her on the part of man. If woman, like the infant
or the defective classes, be incapable of self-government, then
republican society may exclude her from all participation in the
enactment and enforcement of the laws under which she lives. But in
that case, like the infant and the fool and the unconsenting subject
of tyrannical forms of government, she is ruled and not represented by

Thus much I desire to say in the beginning in reply to the broad
assumption of those who deny women the suffrage by saying that they
are already represented by their fathers, their husbands, their
brothers, and their sons, or to state the proposition in its only
proper form, that woman whose assent can only be given by an exercise
of sovereignty on her part is represented by man who denies and by
virtue of power and possession refuses to her the exercise of the
suffrage whereby that representation can be made valid.

The claim, then, of the minority of the committee that woman is
represented by the other sex is not well founded, and is based upon
the same assumption of power which lies at the base of all government
anti-republican in form. It can not be claimed that she is as a free
being already represented, for she can only be represented according
to her will by the exercise of her will through the suffrage itself.

As already observed, the exclusion of woman from the suffrage under
our form of government can be justified upon proof, and only upon
proof, that by reason of her sex she is incompetent to exercise that
power. This is a question of fact.

The common ground upon which all agree may be stated thus: All males
having certain qualifications are in reason and in law entitled to
vote. Those qualifications affect either the body or the mind or both.

First, the attainment of a certain age. The age in itself is not
material, but maturity of mental and moral development is material,
soundness of body in itself not being essential, and want of it alone
never working forfeiture of the right, although it may prevent its

Age as a qualification for suffrage is by no means to be confounded
with age as a qualification for service in war. Society has well
established the distinction, and that one has no relation whatever to
the other; the one having reference to physical prowess, while the
other relates only to the mental and moral state. This is shown by the
ages fixed by law for these qualifications, that of eighteen years
being fixed as the commencement of the term of presumed fitness
for military service, and forty-five years as the period of its
termination; while the age of presumed fitness for the suffrage, which
requires no physical superiority certainly, is set at twenty-one
years, when still greater strength of body has been attained than
at the period when liability to the dangers and hardships of war
commences; and there are at least three millions more male voters in
our country than of the population liable by law to the performance of
military duty. It is still further to be observed, that the right of
suffrage continues as long as the mind lasts, while ordinary liability
to military service ceases at a period when the physical powers,
though still strong, are beginning to wane. The truth is, that there
is no legal or natural connection between the right or liability to
fight and the right to vote.

The right to fight may be exercised voluntarily or the liability to
fight may be enforced by the community whenever there is an invasion
of right, and the extent to which the physical forces of society
may be called upon in self-defense or in justifiable revolution is
measured not by age or sex, but by necessity, and may go so far as to
call into the field old men and women and the last vestige of physical
force. It can not be claimed that woman has no right to vote because
she is not liable to fight, for she is so liable, and the freest
government on the face of the earth has the reserved power under the
call of necessity to place her in the forefront of battle itself, and
more than this, woman has the right, and often has exercised it, to go

If any one could question the existence of this reserved power of
society to call the force of woman to the common defense, either in
the hospital or the field, it would be woman, who has been deprived of
participation in the government and in shaping the public policy which
has resulted in dire emergency to the state. But in all times, and
under all forms of government and of social existence, woman has given
her body and her soul to the common defense.

The qualification of age, then, is imposed for the purpose of securing
mental and moral fitness for the suffrage on the part of those who
exercise it. It has no relation to the possession of physical powers
at all.

All other qualifications imposed upon male citizens, save only that of
their sex, as prerequisites to the exercise of suffrage have the same
objects in view, and can have no other.

The property qualification is, to my mind, an invasion of natural
right, which elevates mere property to an equality with life and
personal liberty, and ought never to be imposed upon the suffrage.
But, however that may be, its application or removal has no relation
to sex, and its only object is to secure the exercise of the
suffrage under a stronger sense of obligation and responsibility--a
qualification, be it observed, of no consequence save as it influences
the mind of the voter in the exercise of his right.

The same is true of the qualifications of sanity, education, and
obedience to the laws, which exclude dementia, ignorance, and
crime from participation in the sovereignty. Every condition or
qualification imposed upon the exercise of the suffrage by the citizen
save only sex has for its only object or possible justification
the possession of mental and moral fitness, and has no relation to
physical power.

The question then arises why is the qualification of masculinity
required at all?

The distinction between human beings by reason of sex is a physical
distinction. The soul is of no sex. If there be a distinction of soul
by reason of the physical difference, or accompanying that physical
difference, woman is the superior of man in mental and moral
qualities. In proof of this see the report of the minority and all the
eulogiums of woman pronounced by those who, like the serpent of old,
would flatter her vanity that they may continue to wield her power.

I repeat it, that the soul is of no sex, and that sex is, so far as
the possession and exercise of human rights and powers are concerned,
but a physical property, in which the female is just as important as
the male, and the possessor thereof under just as great need of power
in the organization and management of society and the government of
society as man; and if there be a difference, she, by reason of her
average physical inferiority, is really protected, and ought to be
protected, by a superior mental and moral fitness to give direction to
the course of society and the policy of the state. If, then, there be
a distinction between the souls of human beings resulting from sex, I
claim that, by the report of the minority and the universal testimony
of all men, woman is better fitted for the exercise of the suffrage
than man.

It is claimed by some that the suffrage is an inherent natural right,
and by others that it is merely a privilege extended to the individual
by society in its discretion. However this may be, practically any
extension of the exercise of the suffrage to individuals or classes
not now enjoying it must be by concession of those who already possess
it, and such extension without revolution will be through the suffrage
itself exercised by those who have it under existing forms.

The appeal by those who have it not must be made to those who are
asked to part with a portion of their own power, and it is not strange
that human nature, which is an essential element in the male sex,
should hesitate and delay to yield one-half its power to those whose
cause, however strong in reason and justice, lacks that physical
force which so largely has been the means by which the masses of men
themselves hare wrung their own rights from rulers and kings.

It is not strange that when overwhelmed with argument and half won by
appeals to his better nature to concede to woman her equal power in
the state, and ashamed to blankly refuse that which he finds no
reason for longer withholding, man avoids the dilemma by a pretended
elevation of his helpmeet to a higher sphere, where, as an angel,
she has certain gauzy ethereal resources and superior functions,
occupations, and attributes which render the possession of mere
earthly every-day powers and privileges non-essential to woman,
however mere mortal men themselves may find them indispensable to
their own freedom and happiness.

But to the denial of her right to vote, whether that denial be the
blunt refusal of the ignorant or the polished evasion of the refined
courtier and politician, woman can oppose only her most solemn and
perpetual appeal to the reason of man and to the justice of Almighty
God. She must continually point out the nature and object of the
suffrage and the necessity that she possess it for her own and the
public good.

What, then, is the suffrage, and why is it necessary that woman should
possess and exercise this function of freemen? I quote briefly from
the report of the committee:

    The rights for the maintenance of which human governments are
    constituted are life, liberty, and property. These rights are
    common to men and women alike, and whatever citizen or subject
    exists as a member of any body-politic, under any form of
    government, is entitled to demand from the sovereign power the
    full protection of these rights.

    This right to the protection of rights appertains to the
    individual, not to the family alone, or to any form of
    association, whether social or corporate. Probably not more than
    five-eighths of the men of legal age, qualified to vote, are heads
    of families, and not more than that proportion of adult women
    are united with men in the legal merger of married life. It is,
    therefore, quite incorrect to speak of the state as an aggregate
    of families duly represented at the ballot-box by their male head.
    The relation between the government and the individual is direct;
    all rights are individual rights, all duties are individual

    Government in its two highest functions is legislative and
    judicial. By these powers the sovereignty prescribes the law,
    and directs its application to the vindication of rights and the
    redress of wrongs. Conscience and intelligence are the only forces
    which enter into the exercise of this highest and primary function
    of government. The remaining department is the executive or
    administrative, and in all forms of government--the republican
    as well as in tyranny--the primary element of administration is
    force, and even in this department conscience and intelligence are
    indispensable to its direction.

    If now we are to decide who of our sixty millions of human beings
    are to constitute the citizenship of this Republic and by virtue
    of their qualifications to be the law-making power, by what tests
    shall the selection be determined?

    The suffrage which is the sovereignty is this great primary
    law-making power. It is not the executive power proper at all. It
    is not founded upon force. Only that degree of physical strength
    which is essential to a sound body--the home of the healthy mental
    and moral constitution--the sound soul in the sound body
    is required in the performance of the function of primary
    legislation. Never in the history of this or any other genuine
    republic has the law-making power, whether in general elections or
    in the framing of laws in legislative assemblies, been vested in
    individuals who have exercised it by reason of their physical
    powers. On the contrary, the physically weak have never for that
    reason been deprived of the suffrage nor of the privilege of
    service in the public councils so long as they possessed the
    necessary powers of locomotion and expression, of conscience and
    intelligence, which are common to all. The aged and the physically
    weak have, as a rule, by reason of superior wisdom and moral
    sense, far more than made good any bodily inferiority by which
    they have differed from the more robust members of the community
    in the discussion and decisions of the ballot-box and in councils
    of the state.

    The executive power of itself is a mere physical
    instrumentality--an animal quality--and it is confided from
    necessity to those individuals who possess that quality, but
    always with danger, except so far as wisdom and virtue control its
    exercise. And it is obvious that the greater the mass of higher
    and spiritual forces, whether found in those to whom the execution
    of the law is assigned or in the great mass by whom the suffrage
    is exercised, and who direct the execution of the law, the greater
    will be the safety and the surer will be the happiness of the

    It is too late to question the intellectual and moral capacity
    of woman to understand great political issues (which are always
    primarily questions of conscience--questions of the intelligent
    application of the principles of right and of wrong in public and
    private affairs) and properly decide them at the polls. Indeed,
    so far as your committee are aware, the pretense is no longer
    advanced that woman should not vote by reason of her mental or
    moral unfitness to perform this legislative function; but the
    suffrage is denied to her because she can not hang criminals,
    suppress mobs, nor handle the enginery of war. We have already
    seen the untenable nature of this assumption, because those who
    make it bestow the suffrage upon very large classes of men who,
    however well qualified they may be to vote, are physically unable
    to perform any of the duties which appertain to the execution of
    the law and the defense of the state. Scarcely a Senator on
    this floor is liable by law to perform a military or other
    administrative duty, yet the rule so many set up against the right
    of women to vote would disfranchise nearly this whole body.

    But it unnecessary to grant that woman can not fight. History is
    full of examples of her heroism in danger, of her endurance and
    fortitude in trial, and of her indispensable and supreme service
    in hospital and field; and in the handling of the deft and
    horrible machinery and infernal agencies which science and art
    have prepared and are preparing for human destruction in future
    wars, woman may perform her whole part in the common assault or
    the common defense. It is hardly worth while to consider this
    trivial objection that she is incompetent for purposes of national
    murder or of bloody self-defense as the basis of the denial of a
    great fundamental right, when we consider that if that right were
    given to her she would by its exercise almost certainly abolish
    this great crime of the nations, which has always inflicted upon
    her the chief burden of woe.

It will be admitted that the act of voting is operative in government
only as a means of deciding upon the adoption or rejection of measures
or of the selection of officers to enact, administer, and execute the

In the discharge of these functions it also must be admitted that
intelligence and conscience are the faculties requisite to secure
their proper performance.

In this day when woman has demonstrated that she is fully the
intellectual equal of man in the profound as well as in the politer
walks of learning--in art, science, literature, and, considering her
opportunities, that she is not his inferior in any of the professions
or in the great mass of useful occupations, while she is, in fact,
becoming the chief educator of the race and is the acknowledged
support of the great ministrations of charity and religion; when in
such great organizations as the suffrage associations, missionary
societies, the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and even
upon the still larger scale of international action, she has exhibited
her power by mere moral influences and the inspiration of great
purposes, without the aid of legal penalties or even of tangible
inconveniences, to mold and direct the discordant thought and action
of thousands and millions of people scattered over separate States,
and sometimes even living in countries hostile to each other to the
accomplishment of great earthly or heavenly ends, it is unreasonable
to deny to woman the suffrage in political affairs upon the
false allegation that she is wanting in the very qualities most
indispensable and requisite for the proper exercise of this great

The advocates of universal male suffrage have long since ceased
to deny the ballot to woman upon the ground that she is unfit or
incompetent to exercise it.

There is a class of high-stepping objectors, like Ouida, who decry the
sound judgment and moral excellence of woman as compared with man, but
in the same breath these people deny the suffrage to the masses of men
and advocate "the just supremacy of the fittest," so that no time need
be wasted in refutation of those malignant and libelous aspersions
upon our mothers, sisters, and wives, which, when carried to logical
conclusions by their own authors, deny the fundamental principles of
liberty to man and woman alike, and reassert in its baldest form the
dogma that "the existing system of electoral power all over the world
is absurd, and will remain so because in no nation is there the
courage, perhaps in no nation is there the intellectual power, capable
of putting forward and sustaining the logical doctrine of the just
supremacy of the fittest."

In fact the minority of the committee, and this is true of all honest,
intelligent men who believe in the republican system of government at
all, concede that woman has the capacity and moral fitness requisite
to exercise the ballot. That class of women represented by the author
of "Letters from a Chimney Corner," whose work has been adopted by
the minority as the basis of their report, speaking through the "fair
authoress," say that "if women were to be considered in their highest
and final estate as merely individual beings, and if the right to the
ballot were to be conceded to man as an individual, it might perhaps
he logically argued that women also possessed the inherent right to
vote." Let me read from the views of the minority on page 1:

    The undersigned minority of the Committee of the Senate on Woman
    Suffrage, to whom was referred Senate Resolution No. 5, proposing
    an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to grant
    the right to vote to the women of the United States, beg leave to
    submit the following minority report, consisting of extracts from
    a little volume entitled, "Letters from a Chimney Corner," written
    by a highly cultivated lady, Mrs. ----, of Chicago, This gifted
    lady has discussed the question with so much clearness and force
    that we make no apology to the Senate for substituting quotations
    from her book in place of anything we might produce. We quote
    first from chapter 3, which is entitled "The value of suffrage to
    women much overestimated."

The fair authoress says:

    "If women were to be considered in their highest and final estate
    as merely individual beings, and if the right to the ballot were
    to be conceded to man as an individual, it might perhaps be
    logically argued that women also possessed the inherent right to
    vote. But from the oldest times, and through all the history
    of the race, has run the glimmer of an idea, more or less
    distinguishable in different ages and under different
    circumstances, that neither man nor woman is, as such, individual;
    that neither being is of itself a whole, a unit, but each requires
    to be supplemented by the other before its true structural
    integrity can be achieved. Of this idea, the science of botany
    furnishes the moat perfect illustration. The stamens on the one
    hand, and the ovary and pistil on the other, may indeed reside in
    one blossom, which then exists in a married or reproductive state.
    But equally well, the stamens or male organs may reside in one
    plant, and the ovary and pistil or female organs may reside in
    another. In that case, the two plants are required to make one
    structurally complete organization. Each is but half a plant, an
    incomplete individual by itself. The life principle of each must
    be united to that of the other; the twain must be indeed one flesh
    before the organization is either structurally or functionally

This is a concession of the whole argument, unless the highest and
final estate of woman is to be something else than a mere individual.
It would also follow that if such be her destiny--that is, to be
something else than a mere "individual being"--and if for that reason
she is to be denied the suffrage, then man equally should be denied
the ballot if his highest and final estate is to be something else
than a "mere individual."

Thereupon the minority of the committee, through the "Fair Authoress,"
proceed to show that both man and woman are designed for a higher
final estate--to wit, that of matrimony. It seems to be conceded
that man is just as much fitted for matrimony as woman herself, and
thereupon the whole subject is illuminated with certain botanical lore
about stamens and pistils, which, however relevant to matrimony, does
not seem to me to prove that therefore woman should not vote unless at
the same time it proves that man should not vote either. And certainly
it can not apply to those women any more than to those men whose
highest and final estate never is merged in the family relation at
all, and even "Ouida" concedes "that the project ... to give votes
only to unmarried women may be dismissed without discussion, as it
would be found to be wholly untenable."

There is no escape from it. The discussion has passed so far that
among intelligent people who believe in the republican form--that
is, free government--all mature men and women have under the same
circumstance and conditions the same rights to defend, the same
grievances to redress, and, therefore, the same necessity for the
exercise of this great fundamental right, of all human beings in free
society. For the right to vote is the great primitive right. It is the
right in which all freedom originates and culminates. It is the right
from which all others spring, in which they merge, and without which
they fall whenever assailed.

This right makes, and is all the difference between government by and
with the consent of the governed and government without and against
the consent of the governed; and that is the difference between
freedom and slavery. If the right to vote be not that difference, what
is? No, sir. If either sex as a class can dispense with the right to
vote, then take it from the strong, and no longer rob the weak of
their defense for the benefit of the strong.

But it is impossible to conceive of the suffrage as a right dependent
at all upon such an irrelevant condition as sex. It is an individual,
a personal right. It may be withheld by force; but if withheld by
reason of sex it is a moral robbery.

But it is said that the duties of maternity disqualify for the
performance of the act of voting. It can not be, and I think is not
claimed by any one, that the mother who otherwise would be fit to
vote is rendered mentally or morally less fit to exercise this high
function in the state because of motherhood. On the contrary, if any
woman has a motive more than another person, man or woman, to secure
the enactment and enforcement of good laws, it is the mother, who,
beside her own life, person, and property, to the protection of which
the ballot is as essential as to the same rights possessed by man,
has her little contingent of immortal beings to conduct safely to
the portals of active life through all the snares and pitfalls woven
around them by bad men and bad laws which bad men have made, or good
laws which bad men, unhindered by the good, have defied or have
prostituted, and rightly to prepare, them for the discharge of all the
duties of their day and generation, including the exercise of the very
right denied to their mother.

Certainly, if but for motherhood she should vote, then ten thousand
times more necessary is it that the mother should be guarded and armed
with this great social and political power for the sake of all men and
women who are yet to be. But it is said that she has not the time. Let
us see. By the best deductions I can make from the census and from
other sources there are 15,000,000 women of voting age in this country
at the present time, of whom not more than 10,000,000 are married and
not more than 7,500,000 are still liable to the duties of maternity,
for it will be remembered that a large proportion of the mothers of
our country at any given time are below the voting age, while of those
who are above it another large proportion have passed beyond the point
of this objection. Not more than one-half the female population of
voting age are liable to this objection. Then why disfranchise the
7,500,000, the other half, as to whom your objection, even if valid
as to any, does not apply at all; and these, too, as a class the most
mature and therefore the best qualified to vote of any of their sex?
But how much is there of this objection of want of time or physical
strength to vote, in its application to women who are bearing and
training the coming millions? The families of the country average five
persons in number. If we assume that this gives an average of three
children to every pair, which is probably the full number, or if we
assume that every married mother, after she becomes of voting age,
bears three children, which is certainly the full allowance, and that
twenty-four years are consumed in doing it, there is one child born
every eight years whose coming is to interfere with the exercise of a
duty of privilege which, in most States, and in all the most important
elections, occurs only one day in two years.

That same mother will attend church at least forty times yearly on
the average from her cradle to her grave, beside an infinity of other
social, religious, and industrial obligations which she performs and
assumes to perform because she is a married woman and a mother rather
than for any other reason whatever. Yet it is proposed to deprive
women--yes, all women alike--of an inestimable privilege and the chief
power which can be exercised by any free individual in the state for
the reason that on any given day of election not more than one woman
in twenty of voting age will probably not be able to reach the polls.
It does seem probable that on these interesting occasions if the
husband and wife disagree in politics they could arrange a pair, and
the probability is, that arrangement failing, one could be consummated
with some other lady in like fortunate circumstances, of opposite
political opinions. More men are kept from the polls by drunkenness,
or, being at the polls, vote under the influence of strong drink, to
the reproach and destruction of our free institutions, and who, if
woman could and did vote, would cast the ballot of sobriety, good
order, and reform under her holy influences, than all those who would
be kept from any given election by the necessary engagements of
mothers at home.

When one thinks of the innumerable and trifling causes which keep many
of the best of men and strongest opponents of woman suffrage from the
polls upon important occasions it is difficult to be tolerant of the
objection that woman by reason of motherhood has no time to vote. Why,
sir, the greater exposure of man to the casualties of life actually
disables him in such way as to make it physically impossible for him
to exercise the franchise more frequently than is the case with
women, including mothers and all. And if this liability to lose the
opportunity to exercise the right once or possibly twice in a lifetime
is a reason that women should not he allowed to vote at all, why
should men not be disfranchised also by the same rule?

But it is urged that woman does not desire the privilege. If the right
exist at all it is an individual right, and not one which belongs to a
class or to the sex as such. Yet men tell us that they will vote the
suffrage to women whenever the majority of women desire it. Are, then,
our rights the property of the majority of a disfranchised class to
which we may chance to belong? What would we say if it were seriously
proposed to recall the suffrage from all colored or from all white men
because a majority of either class should decline or for any cause
fail to vote? I know that it is said that the suffrage is a privilege
to be extended by those who have it to those who have it not. But the
matter of right, of moral right, to the franchise does not depend
upon the indifference of those who possess it or of those who do not
possess it to the desire of those women who desire to enjoy their
right and to discharge their duty. If one or many choose not to claim
their right it is no argument for depriving me of mine or one woman of
hers. There are many reasons why some women declare themselves opposed
to the extension of suffrage to their sex. Some well-fed and pampered,
without serious experiences in life, are incapable of comprehending
the subject at all. Vast numbers, who secretly and earnestly desire it
from the long habit of deference to the wishes of the other sex, upon
whom they are so entirely dependent while disfranchised, and knowing
the hostility of their "protectors" to the agitation of the subject,
conceal their real sentiments, and the "lord" of the family referring
this question to his wife, who has heard him sneer or worse than sneer
at suffragists for half a lifetime, ought not to expect an answer
which she knows will subject her to his censure and ridicule or even
his unexpressed disapprobation.

It is like the old appeal of the master to his slave to know if
he would be free. Full well did the wise and wary slave know that
happiness depended upon declared contentment with his lot. But all
the same the world does move. Colored men are free. Colored men vote.
Women will vote. A little further on I shall revert to the evidence of
a general and growing desire on her part and on the part of just and
intelligent men that the suffrage be extended to women.

But we are told that husband and wife will disagree and thus the
suffrage will destroy the family and ruin society. If a married
couple will quarrel at all, they will find the occasion, and it were
fortunate indeed if their contention might concern important affairs.
There is no peace in the family save where love is, and the same
spirit which enables the husband and wife to enforce the toleration
act between themselves in religious matters will keep the peace
between them in political discussions. At all events, this argument
is unworthy of notice at all unless we are to push it to its logical
conclusion, and, for the sake of peace in the family, to prohibit
woman absolutely the exercise of freedom of thought and speech.
Men live with their countrymen and disagree with them in politics,
religion, and ten thousand of the affairs of life, as often the
trifling as the important. What harm, then, if woman be allowed her
thought and vote upon the tariff, education, temperance, peace and
war, and whatsoever else the suffrage decides?

But we are told that no government, of which we have authentic
history, ever gave to woman a share in the sovereignty.

This is not true, for the annals of monarchies and despotisms have
been rendered illustrious by queens of surpassing brilliance and
power. But even if it be true that no republic ever enfranchised woman
with the ballot--even so until within one hundred years universal or
even general suffrage was unknown among men.

Has the millennium yet dawned? Is all progress at an end? If that
which is should therefore remain, why abolish the slavery of men?

But we are informed that woman does not vote when she has the
opportunity. Wherever she has the unrestricted right she exercises it.
The records of Wyoming and Washington demonstrate the fact.

And in these Territories, too, as well as wherever else she has
exercised the suffrage, she has elevated man to her own level, and
has made the voting precinct as respectable and decorous as the
lecture-room or the assemblies of the devout. All the experience there
is refutes the apprehension of those who fear that woman will either
neglect the discharge of her great duty, when allowed its fair and
equal exercise, or that the rude and baser sort will overwhelm and
banish the noble and refined.

But to my mind it seems like trifling with a great subject to dwell
upon topics like this. It can only be justified by the continual
iteration of the objection by the opponents of woman suffrage, who in
the lack of substantial grounds whereupon to base their opposition to
the exercise of a great right by one-half the community declare that
there is no time in which woman can vote.

I will now read an extract from the report of the majority of the
committee, showing to a certain extent the degree of consequence which
this movement has assumed, its extent throughout our country, and
something of its duration. I have not the latest data, for since this
report was compiled there has been action in several States, and a
great deal of popular discussion and a vast amount of demonstration
from the action of popular assemblies.

The committee say:

    This movement for woman suffrage has developed during the last
    half century into one of great strength. The first petition was
    presented to the Legislature of New York in 1835. It was repeated
    in 1846, and since that time the petition has been urged upon
    nearly every Legislature in the Northern States. Five States
    have voted upon the question of amending their constitutions by
    striking out the word "male" from the suffrage clause--Kansas in
    1867, Michigan in 1874, Colorado in 1877, Nebraska in 1882, and
    Oregon in 1884.

    The ratio of the popular vote in each case was about one-third for
    the amendment and two-thirds against it. Three Territories have or
    have had full suffrage for women. In two, Wyoming since 1869
    and Washington since 1883, the experiment (!) is an unqualified
    success. In Utah Miss Anthony keenly and justly observes that
    suffrage is as much of a success for the Mormon women as for the

    In eleven States school suffrage for women exists. In Kansas, from
    her admission as a State. In Kentucky and Michigan fully as long
    a time. School suffrage for women also exists in Colorado,
    Minnesota, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York,
    Nebraska, and Oregon.

    In all these States, except Minnesota, school suffrage was
    extended to women by the respective Legislatures, and in Minnesota
    by the popular vote, in November, 1876. Not only these eleven
    States, but in nearly all the other Northern and Western States
    women are elected to the offices of county and city superintendent
    of public schools and as members of school boards. In Louisiana
    the constitution of 1879 makes women eligible to school offices.

    It may also be observed as indicating a rising and controlling
    public sentiment in recognition of the right and capacity of woman
    for public affairs that she is eligible to such offices as that of
    county clerk, register of deeds, and the like in many and perhaps
    in all the States. Kansas and Iowa elected several women to these
    positions in the election of November, 1885, while President Grant
    alone appointed more than five thousand women to the office of
    postmaster; and although many women have been appointed in the
    Departments and to pension agencies and like important employments
    and trusts, so far as your committee are aware no charge of
    incompetency or of malfeasance in office has ever yet been
    sustained against a woman.

    It may be further stated in this connection that nearly every
    Northern State has had before it from time to time since 1870 a
    bill for the submission of the question of woman suffrage to the
    popular vote. In some instances such a resolution has been passed
    at one session and failed to be ratified at another by from one
    to three votes; thus Iowa passed it in 1870, killed it in 1872;
    passed it in 1874, failed to do so in 1876; passed it in 1878, and
    failed in 1880; passed it again in 1882, and defeated it in
    1884; four times over and over, and this winter these heroic and
    indomitable women are trying it in Iowa again.

    If men were to make such a struggle for their rights it would be
    considered a fine thing, and there would be books and even poetry
    written about it.

    In New York, since 1880, the women have urged this great measure
    before the Legislature each year. There it takes the form of a
    bill to prohibit the disfranchisement of women. This bill has
    several times come within five votes of passing the assembly.

    In many States well sustained efforts for municipal suffrage have
    been made, and, as if in rebuke to the conservatism, or worse, of
    this great Republic, this right of municipal suffrage is already
    enjoyed in the province of Ontario, Canada, and throughout the
    island of Great Britain by unmarried women to the same extent as
    by men, there being the same property qualification required of

    The movement for the amendment of the National Constitution began
    by petitioning Congress December, 1865, and since 1869 there have
    been consecutive applications to every Congress praying for the
    submission to the States of a proposition similar to the joint
    resolution herewith reported to the Senate.

    The petitions have come from all parts of the country; more
    especially from the Northern and Western States, although there is
    an extensive and increasing desire for the suffrage existing among
    the women in the Southern States, as we are informed by those
    whose interest in the subject makes them familiar with the real
    state of feeling in that part of our country. It is impossible
    to know just what proportion of the people--men and women--have
    expressed their desire by petition to the National Legislature
    during the last twenty years, but we are informed by Miss Anthony
    that in the year 1871 Senator Sumner collected the petitions from
    the files of the Senate and House of Representatives, and that
    there were then an immense number. A far greater number have been
    presented since that time, and the same lady is our authority for
    the estimate that in all more than two hundred thousand petitions,
    by select and representative men and women, have been poured upon
    Congress in behalf of this prayer of woman to be free. Who is so
    interested in the framing of the law as woman, whose only defense
    is the law? There never was a stronger exhibition of popular
    demand by American citizens to be heard in the court of the people
    for the vindication of a fundamental right.

Since the submission of the report the attempt has been made to secure
action in several of the State Legislatures. One which came very near
being successful was made in the State of Vermont. The suffrage was
extended, if I am not incorrectly informed, so far as the action of
the house of representatives of that State could give it, and an
effort being made to propose some restriction and condition upon the
suffrage it was defeated, when, as I am told by the friends of the
movement, if it could have reached a vote in the Vermont Legislature
on the naked proposition of suffrage to women as suffrage is extended
to men, they felt the very greatest confidence that they would have
been able to secure favorable action by the Legislature of that State.

Miss Anthony informs me since she came here at the present session
(and I am sorry I have not had the opportunity of extended conference
with her) that in the State of Kansas, where she spent several weeks
in the discussion of the subject before vast masses of people, the
largest halls, rinks, and places for the accommodation of popular
assemblages in the State were crowded to overflowing to listen to
her address. In every instance she has taken a vote of those vast
audiences as to whether they were in favor of woman suffrage or
against it, and in no single instance has there been a solitary vote
against the extension of the right, but affirmative and universal
action of those great assemblies demanding that it be extended to
women. And like demonstrations of popular approval are developing in
all parts of the country, perhaps not to so marked an extent as these
which I have just stated; but it is a growing feeling in this country
that women should have this right, and above all woman and man
demanding that she should have the opportunity to try her case before
the American people, that this right of petition should be heeded by
Congress and the joint resolution for the submission of the matter for
discussion by the States should be passed by the necessary two-thirds

It is sometimes, too, urged against this movement for the submission
of a resolution for a national constitutional amendment that women
should go to the States and fight it out there. But we did not send
the colored man to the States. No other amendment touching the general
national interest is left to be fought out by individual action in
the individual States. Under the terms of the Constitution itself the
people of the United States, having some universal common interest
affected by law or by the want of law, are invited to come to this
body and try here their question of right, or at all events through
the agency of Congress to submit that proposition to the people at
large in order that in the general national forum it may receive
discussion, and by the action of three-fourths of the States, if
favorable, their idea may be incorporated in the fundamental law.

I will not detain the Senate further in the discussion of this

It should be borne in mind that the proposition is to submit to men
the question whether woman shall vote. The jury will certainly not be
prejudiced in her favor as against the public good. There can be no
danger of a verdict in her favor contrary to the evidence in the case.

We ask only for her an opportunity to bring her suit in the great
court for the amendment of fundamental law. It is impossible for any
right mind to escape the impression of solemn responsibility which
attaches to our decision. Ridicule and wit of whatever quality are
here as much out of place as in the debates upon the Declaration of
Independence. We are affirming or denying the right of petition which
by all law belongs as much to women as to men. Millions of women and
thousands of men in our own country demand that she at least have the
opportunity to be heard. Hear, even if you strike.

The lamented Anthony, so long the object of reverence, affection, and
pride in this body, among the last acts of his public life, in
signing the favorable report of this resolution, made the following

    The Constitution is wisely conservative in the provision of its
    own amendment. It is eminently proper that whenever a large
    number of the people have indicated a desire for an amendment the
    judgment of the amending power should be consulted. In view of the
    extensive agitation of the question of woman suffrage, and the
    numerous and respectable petitions that have been presented
    to Congress in its support, I unite with the committee in
    recommending that the proposed amendment be submitted to the


Profoundly convinced of the justice of woman's demand for the
suffrage, and that the proper method of securing the right is by an
amendment of the national Constitution, I urge the adoption of the
joint resolution upon the still broader ground so clearly and calmly
stated by the great Senator whose words I have just read. I appeal to
you, Senators, to grant this petition of woman that she may be heard
for her claim of right. How could you reject that petition, even were
there but one faint voice beseeching your ear? How can you deny the
demand of millions who believe in suffrage for women, and who can not
be forever silenced, for they give voice to the innate cry of the
human heart that justice be done not alone to man, but to that half of
this nation which now is free only by the grace of the other, and that
by our action to-day we indorse, if we do not initiate, a movement
which, in the development of our race, shall guarantee liberty to all
without distinction of sex, even as our glorious Constitution already
grants the suffrage to every citizen without distinction of color or

       *       *       *       *       *

Further consideration of the resolution postponed until January 25,
1887, when it was resumed, as follows:

_Tuesday, January 25, 1887._


Mr. BLAIR. I now move that the Senate proceed to consider the joint
resolution (S.R. 5) proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the
United States extending the right of suffrage to women.

The motion was agreed to; and the Senate, as in Committee of the
Whole, proceeded to consider the joint resolution.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The joint resolution will be read.

The Chief Clerk read the joint resolution, as follows:

    _Resolved (two-thirds of each House concurring therein)_, That the
    following article be proposed to the Legislatures of the several
    States as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States:
    which, when ratified by three-fourths of the said Legislatures,
    shall be valid as part of said Constitution, namely:


    Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote
    shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any
    State on account of sex.

    Sec. 2. The Congress shall have power, by appropriate legislation,
    to enforce the provisions of this article.

Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, the joint resolution introduced by my
friend, the Senator from New Hampshire [Mr. BLAIR], proposing an
amendment to the Constitution of the United States, conferring the
right to vote upon the women of the United States, is one of paramount
importance, as it involves great questions far reaching in their
tendency, which seriously affect the very pillars of our social
fabric, which involve the peace and harmony of society, the unity of
the family, and much of the future success of our Government. The
question should therefore he met fairly and discussed with firmness,
but with moderation and forbearance.

No one contributes anything valuable to the debate by the use of harsh
terms, or by impugning motives, or by disparaging the arguments of the
opposition. Where the prosperity of the race and the peace of society
are involved, we should, on both sides, meet fairly the arguments of
our respective opponents.

This question has been discussed a great deal outside of Congress,
sometimes in bad temper and sometimes illogically and unprofitably,
but the advocates of the proposed amendment and the opponents of it
have each put forth, probably in their strongest form, the reasons and
arguments which are considered by each as conclusive in favor of the
cause they advocate. I do not expect to contribute much that is new
on a subject that has been so often and so ably discussed; but what I
have to say will be in the main a reproduction in substance of what
I and others have already said on the subject, and which I think
important enough to be placed upon the record in the argument of the

In connection with my friend, the honorable Senator from Missouri [Mr.
COCKRELL], I have in a report set forth substantially the reasons
and arguments which to my mind establish the fact that the proposed
legislation would be injudicious and unwise, and I shall not hesitate
to reiterate here such portions of what was then said as seem to me to
be important.

I believe that the Creator intended that the sphere of the males and
females of our race should be different, and that their duties and
obligations, while they differ materially, are equally important and
equally honorable, and that each sex is equally well qualified by
natural endowments for the discharge of the important duties which
pertain to each, and that each sex is equally competent to discharge
those duties.

We find an abundance of evidence, both in the works of nature and in
the Divine revelation, to establish the fact that the family properly
regulated is the foundation and pillar of society, and is the most
important of any other human institution.

In the Divine economy it is provided that the man shall be the head
of the family, and shall take upon himself the solemn obligation of
providing for and protecting the family.

Man, by reason of his physical strength, and his other endowments and
faculties, is qualified for the discharge of those duties that
require strength and ability to combat with the sterner realities and
difficulties of life. The different classes of outdoor labor which
require physical strength and endurance are by nature assigned to man,
the head of the family, as part of his task. He discharges such labors
as require greater physical endurance and strength than the female sex
are usually found to possess.

It is not only his duty to provide for and protect the family, but
as a member of the community it is also his duty to discharge the
laborious and responsible obligations which the family owe to the
State, and which obligations must be discharged by the head of the
family, until the male members of the family have grown up to manhood
and are able to aid in the discharge of those obligations, when it
becomes their duty each in his turn to take charge of and rear a
family, for which he is responsible.

Among other duties which the head of the family owes to the State, is
military duty in time of war, which he, when able-bodied, is able to
discharge, and which the female members of the family are unable to

He is also under obligation to discharge jury duty, and by himself
or his representatives to perform his part of the labor necessary to
construct and keep in order roads, bridges, streets, and all grades
of public highways. And in this progressive age upon the male sex is
devolved the duty of constructing and operating our railroads, and
the engines and other rolling-stock with which they are operated; of
building, equipping, and launching, shipping and other water craft of
every character necessary for the transportation of passengers and
freight upon our rivers, our lakes, and upon the high seas.

The labor in our fields, sowing, cultivating, and reaping crops must
be discharged mainly by the male sex, as the female sex, for want of
physical strength, are generally unable to discharge these duties.
As it is the duty of the male sex to perform the obligations to the
State, to society, and to the family, already mentioned, with numerous
others that might be enumerated, it is also their duty to aid in
the government of the State, which is simply a great aggregation
of families. Society can not be preserved nor can the people be
prosperous without good government. The government of our country is a
government of the people, and it becomes necessary that the class of
people upon whom the responsibility rests should assemble together and
consider and discuss the great questions of governmental policy which
from time to time are presented for their decision.

This often requires the assembling of caucuses in the night time, as
well as public assemblages in the daytime. It is a laborious task, for
which the male sex is infinitely better fitted than the female sex;
and after proper consideration and discussion of the measures that may
divide the country from time to time, the duty devolves upon those who
are responsible for the government, at times and places to be fixed by
law, to meet and by ballot to decide the great questions of government
upon which the prosperity of the country depends.

These are some of the active and sterner duties of life to which
the male sex is by nature better fitted than the female sex. If in
carrying out the policy of the State on great measures adjudged vital
such policy should lead to war, either foreign or domestic, it would
seem to follow very naturally that those who have been responsible for
the management of the State should be the parties to take the hazards
and hardships of the struggle.

Here, again, man is better fitted by nature for the discharge of the
duty--woman is unfit for it. So much for some of the duties imposed
upon the male sex, for the discharge of which the Creator has endowed
them with proper strength and faculties.

On the other hand, the Creator has assigned to woman very laborious
and responsible duties, by no means less important than those imposed
upon the male sex, though entirely different in their character. In
the family she is a queen. She alone is fitted for the discharge of
the sacred trust of wife and the endearing relation of mother.

While the man is contending with the sterner duties of life, the whole
time of the noble, affectionate, and true woman is required in the
discharge of the delicate and difficult duties assigned her in the
family circle, in her church relations, and in the society where her
lot is cast. When the husband returns home weary and worn in the
discharge of the difficult and laborious task assigned him, he finds
in the good wife solace and consolation, which is nowhere else
afforded. If he is despondent and distressed, she cheers his heart
with words of kindness; if he is sick or languishing, she soothes,
comforts, and ministers to him as no one but an affectionate wife
can do. If his burdens are onerous, she divides their weight by the
exercise of her love and her sympathy.

But a still more important duty devolves upon the mother. After
having brought into existence the offspring of the nuptial union, the
children are dependent upon the mother as they are not upon any other
human being. The trust is a most sacred, most responsible, and most
important one. To watch over them in their infancy, and as the mind
begins to expand to train, direct, and educate it in the paths of
virtue and usefulness is the high trust assigned to the mother. She
trains the twig as the tree should be inclined.

She molds the character. She educates the heart as well as the
intellect, and she prepares the future man, now the boy, for honor or
dishonor. Upon the manner in which she discharges her duty depends the
fact whether he shall in future be a useful citizen or a burden to
society. She inculcates lessons of patriotism, manliness, religion,
and virtue, fitting the man by reason of his training to be an
ornament to society, or dooming him by her neglect to a life of
dishonor and shame. Society acts unwisely when it imposes upon her
the duties that by common consent have always been assigned to the
stronger and sterner sex, and the discharge of which causes her to
neglect those sacred and all important duties to her children and to
the society of which they are members.

In the church, by her piety, her charity, and her Christian purity,
she not only aids society by a proper training of her own children,
but the children of others, whom she encourages to come to the sacred
altar, are taught to walk in the paths of rectitude, honor, and
religion. In the Sunday-school room the good woman is a princess, and
she exerts an influence which purifies and ennobles society, training
the young in the truths of religion, making the Sunday-school the
nursery of the church, and elevating society to the higher planes of
pure religion, virtue, and patriotism. In the sick room and among the
humble, the poor, and the suffering, the good woman, like an angel
of light, cheers the hearts and revives the hopes of the poor, the
suffering, and the despondent.

It would be a vain attempt to undertake to enumerate the refining,
endearing, and ennobling influences exercised by the true woman in her
relations to the family and to society when she occupies the sphere
assigned to her by the laws of nature and the Divine inspiration,
which are our surest guide for the present and the future life. But
how can woman be expected to meet these heavy responsibilities, and to
discharge these delicate and most important duties of wife, Christian,
teacher, minister of mercy, friend of the suffering, and consoler of
the despondent and needy, if we impose upon her the grosser, rougher,
and harsher duties which nature has assigned to the male sex?

If the wife and the mother is required to leave the sacred precincts
of home, and to attempt to do military duty when the state is in
peril; or if she is to be required to leave her home from day to day
in attendance upon the court as a juror, and to be shut up in the jury
room from night to night with men who are strangers while a question
of life or property is being discussed; if she is to attend political
meetings, take part in political discussions, and mingle with the male
sex at political gatherings; if she is to become an active politician;
if she is to attend political caucuses at late hours of the night;
if she is to take part in all the unsavory work that may be deemed
necessary for the triumph of her party; and if on election day she is
to leave her home and go upon the streets electioneering for votes for
the candidates who receive her support, and mingling among the crowds
of men who gather round the polls, she is to press her way through
them to the precinct and deposit her ballot; if she is to take part
in the corporate struggles of the city or town in which she resides,
attend to the duties of his honor, the mayor, the councilman, or of
policeman, to say nothing of the many other like obligations which are
disagreeable even to the male sex, how is she, with all these heavy
duties of citizen, politician, and officeholder resting upon her
shoulders, to attend to the more sacred, delicate, and refining trust
to which we have already referred, and for which she is peculiarly
fitted by nature? If she is to discharge the duties last mentioned,
how is she, in connection with them, to discharge the more refining,
elevating, and ennobling duties of wife, mother, Christian, and
friend, which are found in the sphere where nature has placed her?
Who is to care for and train the children while she is absent in the
discharge of these masculine duties?

If it were proper to reverse the order of nature and assign woman
to the sterner duties devolved upon the male sex, and to attempt to
assign man to the more refining, delicate, and ennobling duties of the
woman, man would be found entirely incompetent to the discharge of
the obligations which nature has devolved upon the gentler sex, and
society must be greatly injured by the attempted change. But if we are
told that the object of this movement is not to reverse this order of
nature, but only to devolve upon the gentler sex a portion of the more
rigorous duties imposed by nature upon the stronger sex, we reply that
society must be injured, as the woman would not be able to discharge
those duties so well, by reason of her want of physical strength, as
the male, upon whom they are devolved, and to the extent that the
duties are to be divided, the male would be infinitely less competent
to discharge the delicate and sacred trusts which nature has assigned
to the female.

But it has been said that the present law is unjust to woman; that she
is often required to pay tax on the property she holds without being
permitted to take part in framing or administering the laws by
which her property is governed, and that she is taxed without
representation. That is a great mistake.

It may be very doubtful whether the male or female sex in the present
state of things has more influence in the administration of the
affairs of the Government and the enactment of the laws by which we
are governed.

While the woman does not discharge military duty, nor does she attend
courts and serve on juries, nor does she labor on the public streets,
bridges, or highways, nor does she engage actively and publicly in
the discussion of political affairs, nor does she enter the crowded
precincts of the ballot-box to deposit her suffrage, still the
intelligent, cultivated, noble woman is a power behind the throne. All
her influence is in favor of morality, justice, and fair dealing, all
her efforts and her counsel are in favor of good government, wise and
wholesome regulations, and a faithful administration of the laws. Such
a woman, by her gentleness, kindness, and Christian bearing, impresses
her views and her counsels upon her father, her husband, her brothers,
her sons, and her other male friends who imperceptibly yield to her
influence many times without even being conscious of it. She rules not
with a rod of iron, but with the queenly scepter; she binds not with
hooks of steel but with silken cords; she governs not by physical
efforts, but by moral suasion and feminine purity and delicacy. Her
dominion is one of love, not of arbitrary power.

We are satisfied, therefore, that the pure, cultivated, and pious
ladies of this country now exercise a very powerful, but quiet,
imperceptible influence in popular affairs, much greater than they
can ever again exercise if female suffrage should be enacted and they
should be compelled actively to take part in the affairs of state and
the corruptions of party politics.

It would be a gratification, and we are always glad to see the ladies
gratified, to many who have espoused the cause of woman suffrage if
they could take active part in political affairs, and go to the polls
and cast their votes alongside the male sex; but while this would be
a gratification to a large number of very worthy and excellent
ladies who take a different view of the question from that which we
entertain, we feel that it would be a great cruelty to a much larger
number of the cultivated, refined, delicate, and lovely women of
this country who seek no such distinction, who would enjoy no such
privilege, who would with woman-like delicacy shrink from the
discharge of any such obligation, and who would sincerely regret that,
what they consider the folly of the state, had imposed upon them any
such unpleasant duties.

But should female suffrage be once established it would become an
imperative necessity that the very large class, indeed much the
largest class, of the women of this country of the character last
described should yield, contrary to their inclinations and wishes, to
the necessity which would compel them to engage in political strife.
We apprehend no one who has properly considered this question will
doubt if female suffrage should be established that the more ignorant
and less refined portions of the female population of this country,
to say nothing of the baser class of females, laying aside feminine
delicacy and disregarding the sacred duties devolving upon them, to
which we have already referred, would rush to the polls and take
pleasure in the crowded association which the situation would compel,
of the two sexes in political meetings, and at the ballot-box.

If all the baser and more ignorant portion of the female sex crowd to
the polls and deposit their suffrage this compels the very large class
of intelligent, virtuous, and refined females, including wives and
mothers, who have much more important duties to perform, to leave
their sacred labors at home, relinquishing for a time the God-given
important trust which has been placed in their hands, to go contrary
to their wishes to the polls and vote, to counteract the suffrage of
the less worthy class of our female population. If they fail to do
this the best interests of the country must suffer by a preponderance
of ignorance and vice at the polls.

It is now a problem which perplexes the brain of the ablest statesmen
to determine how we will best preserve our republican system as
against the demoralizing influence of the large class of our present
citizens and voters who by reason of their illiteracy are unable to
read or write the ballot they cast.

Certainly no statesman who has carefully observed the situation would
desire to add very largely to this burden of ignorance. But who
does not apprehend the fact if universal female suffrage should be
established that we will, especially in the Southern States, add a
very large number to the voting population whose ignorance utterly
disqualifies them for discharging the trust. If our colored population
who were so recently slaves that even the males who are voters have
had but little opportunity to educate themselves or to be educated,
whose ignorance is now exciting the liveliest interest of our
statesmen, are causes of serious apprehension, what is to be said in
favor of adding to the voting population all the females of that race,
who, on account of the situation in which they have been placed, have
had much less opportunity to be educated than even the males of their
own race.

We do not say it is their fault that they are not educated, but the
fact is undeniable that they are grossly ignorant, with very few
exceptions, and probably not one in a hundred of them could read and
write the ballot that they would be authorized to cast. What says the
statesman to the propriety of adding this immense mass of ignorance to
the voting population of the Union in its present condition?

It may be said that their votes could be offset by the ballots of the
educated and refined ladies of the white race in the same section;
but who does not know that the ignorant female voters would be at
the polls _en masse_, while the refined and educated, shrinking from
public contact on such occasions, would remain at home and attend to
their domestic and other important duties, leaving the country too
often to the control of those who could afford under the circumstances
to take part in the strifes of politics, and to come in contact with
the unpleasant surroundings before they could reach the polls. Are
we ready to expose the country to the demoralization, and our
institutions to the strain, which would be placed upon them for the
gratification of a minority of the virtuous and good of our female
population at the expense of the mortification of a very large
majority of the same sex?

It has been frequently urged with great earnestness by those who
advocate woman suffrage that the ballot is necessary to the women to
enable them to protect themselves in securing occupations, and to
enable them to realize the same compensation for the like labor which
is received by men. This argument is plausible, but upon a closer
examination it will be found to possess but little real force. The
price of labor is and must continue to be governed by the law of
supply and demand, and the person who has the most physical strength
to labor, and the most pursuits requiring such strength open for
employment, will always command the higher prices.

Ladies make excellent teachers in public schools; many of them are
every way the equals of their male competitors, and still they secure
less wages than males. The reason is obvious. The number of ladies who
offer themselves as teachers is much larger than the number of males
who are willing to teach. The larger number of females offer to teach
because other occupations are not open to them. The smaller number of
males offer to teach because other more profitable occupations are
open to most males who are competent to teach. The result is that the
competition for positions of teachers to be filled by ladies is so
great as to reduce the price: but as males can not be employed at
that price, and are necessary in certain places in the schools, those
seeking their services have to pay a higher rate for them.

Persons having a larger number of places open to them with fewer
competitors command higher wages than those who have a smaller number
of places open to them with more competitors. This is the law of
society. It is the law of supply and demand, which can not be changed
by legislation. Then it follows that the ballot can not enable those
who have to compete with the larger number to command the same prices
as those who compete with the smaller number in the labor market. As
the Legislature has no power to regulate in practice that of which
the advocates of woman suffrage complain, the ballot in the hands of
females could not aid its regulation.

The ballot can not impart to the female physical strength which she
does not possess, nor can it open to her pursuits which she does not
have physical ability to engage in; and as long as she lacks the
physical strength to compete with men in the different departments of
labor, there will be more competition in her department, and she must
necessarily receive less wages.

But it is claimed again, that females should have the ballot as a
protection against the tyranny of bad husbands. This is also delusive.
If the husband is brutal, arbitrary, or tyrannical, and tyrannizes
over her at home, the ballot in her hands would be no protection
against such injustice, but the husband who compelled her to conform
to his wishes in other respects would also compel her to use the
ballot, if she possessed it, as he might please to dictate. The ballot
would therefore be of no assistance to the wife in such case, nor
could it heal family strifes or dissensions. On the contrary, one
of the gravest objections to placing the ballot in the hands of the
female sex is that it would promote unhappiness and dissensions in the
family circle. There should be unity and harmony in the family.

At present the man represents the family in meeting the demands of the
law and of society upon the family. So far as the rougher, coarser
duties are concerned, the man represents the family, and the
individuality of the woman is not brought into prominence; but when
the ballot is placed in the hands of woman her individuality is
enlarged, and she is expected to answer for herself the demands of the
law and of society on her individual account, and not as the weaker
member of the family to answer by her husband. This naturally draws
her out from the dignified and cultivated refinement of her womanly
position, and brings her into a closer contact with the rougher
elements of society, which tends to destroy that higher reverence and
respect which her refinement and dignity in the relation of wife
and mother have always inspired in those who approached her in her
honorable and useful retirement.

When she becomes a voter she will be more or less of a politician, and
will form political alliances or unite with political parties which
will frequently be antagonistic to those to which her husband
belongs. This will introduce into the family circle new elements
of disagreement and discord which will frequently end in unhappy
divisions, if not in separation or divorce. This must frequently occur
when she becomes an active politician, identified with a party which
is distasteful to her husband. On the other hand, if she unites with
her husband in party associations and votes with him on all occasions
so as not to disturb the harmony and happiness of the family, then the
ballot is of no service as it simply duplicates the vote of the male
on each side of the question and leaves the result the same.

Again, if the family is the unit of society, and the state is composed
of an aggregation of families, then it is important to society that
there be as many happy families as possible, and it becomes the duty
of man and woman alike to unite in the holy relations of matrimony.

As this is the only legal and proper mode of rendering obedience to
the early command to multiply and replenish the earth, whatever tends
to discourage the holy relation of matrimony is in disobedience of
this command, and any change which encourages such disobedience is
violative of the Divine law, and can not result in advantage to the
state. Before forming this relation it is the duty of young men who
have to take upon themselves the responsibilities of providing for and
protecting the family to select some profession or pursuit that is
most congenial to their tastes, and in which they will be most likely
to be successful; but this can not be permitted to the young ladies,
or if permitted it can not be practically carried out after matrimony.

As it might frequently happen that the young man had selected one
profession or pursuit, and the young lady another, the result would
be that after marriage she must drop the profession or pursuit of her
choice, and employ herself in the sacred duties of wife and mother at
home, and in rearing, educating, and elevating the family, while the
husband pursues the profession of his choice.

It may be said, however, that there is a class of young ladies who
do not choose to marry, and who select professions or avocations and
follow them for a livelihood. This is true, but this class, compared
with the number who unite in matrimony with the husbands of their
choice, is comparatively very small, and it is the duty of society to
encourage the increase of marriages rather than of celibacy. If the
larger number of females select pursuits or professions which require
them to decline marriage, society to that extent is deprived of the
advantage resulting from the increase of population by marriage.

It is said by those who have examined the question closely that the
largest number of divorces is now found in the communities where
the advocates of female suffrage are most numerous, and where the
individuality of woman as related to her husband, which such a
doctrine inculcates, is increased to the greatest extent.

If this be true, it is a strong plea in the interests of the family
and of society against granting the petition of the advocates of woman

After all, this is a local question, which properly belongs to the
different States of the Union, each acting for itself, and to the
Territories of the Union, when not acting in conflict with the laws of
the United States.

The fact that a State adopts the rule of female suffrage neither
increases nor diminishes its power in the Union, as the number of
Representatives in Congress to which each State is entitled and the
number of members in the electoral college appointed by each is
determined by its aggregate population and not by the proportion of
its voting population, so long as no race or class as defined by the
Constitution is excluded from the exercise of the right of suffrage.

Now, Mr. President, I shall make no apology for adding to what I have
said some extracts from an able and well-written volume, entitled
"Letters from the Chimney Corner," written by a highly cultivated lady
of Chicago. This gifted lady has discussed the question with so much
clearness and force that I can make no mistake by substituting some
of the thoughts taken from her book for anything I might add on this
question. While discussing the relations of the sexes, and showing
that neither sex is of itself a whole, a unit, and that each requires
to be supplemented by the other before its true structural integrity
can be achieved, she adds:

Now, everywhere throughout nature, to the male and female ideal,
certain distinct powers and properties belong. The lines of
demarkation are not always clear, not always straight lines: they are
frequently wavering, shadowy, and difficult to follow, yet on the
whole whatever physical strength, personal aggressiveness, the
intellectual scope and vigor which manage vast material enterprises
are emphasized, there the masculine ideal is present. On the other
hand, wherever refinement, tenderness, delicacy, sprightliness,
spiritual acumen, and force, are to the fore, there the feminine ideal
is represented, and these terms will be found nearly enough for all
practical purposes to represent the differing endowments of actual men
and women. Different powers suggest different activities, and under
the division of labor here indicated the control of the state,
legislation, the power of the ballot, would seem to fall to the share
of man. Nor does this decision carry with it any injustice, any
robbery of just or natural right to woman.

In her hands is placed a moral and spiritual power far greater than
the power of the ballot. In her married or reproductive state the
forming and shaping of human souls in their most plastic period is her
destiny. Nor do her labors or her responsibilities end with infancy or
childhood. Throughout his entire course, from the cradle to the grave,
man is ever under the moral and spiritual influence and control of
woman. With this power goes a tremendous responsibility for its true
management and use. If woman shall ever rise to the full height of her
power and privileges in this direction, she will have enough of the
world's work upon her hands without attempting legislation.

It may be argued that the possession of civil power confers dignity,
and is of itself a re-enforcement of whatever natural power an
individual may possess; but the dignity of womanhood, when it is fully
understood and appreciated, needs no such re-enforcement, nor are the
peculiar needs of woman such as the law can reach.

Whenever laws are needed for the protection of her legal status and
rights, there has been found to be little difficulty in obtaining them
by means of the votes of men; but the deeper and more vital needs of
woman and of society are those which are outside altogether of the
pale of the law, and which can only be reached by the moral forces
lodged in the hands of woman herself, acting in an enlarged and
general capacity.

For instance, whenever a man or woman has been wronged in marriage the
law may indeed step in with a divorce, but does that divorce give back
to either party the dream of love, the happy home, the prattle of
children, and the sweet outlook for future years which were destroyed
by that wrong? It is not a legal power which is needed in this case;
it is a moral power which shall prevent the wrong, or, if committed,
shall induce penitence, forgiveness, a purer life, and the healing of
the wound.

This power has been lodged by the Creator in the hands of woman
herself, and if she has not been rightly trained to use it there is
no redress for her at the hands of the law. The law alone can never
compel men to respect the chastity of woman. They must first recognize
its value in themselves by living up to the high level of their duties
as maidens, wives, and mothers; they must impress men with the beauty
and sacredness of purity, and then whatever laws are necessary
and available for its protection will be easily obtained, with
a certainty, also, that they can be enforced, because the moral
sentiments of men will be enlisted in their support.

Privileges bring responsibilities, and before women clamor for more
work to do, it were better that they should attend more thoughtfully
to the duties which lie all about them, in the home and social circle.
Until society is cleansed of the moral foulness which infests it,
which, as we have seen, lies beyond the reach of civil law, women have
no call to go forth into wider fields, claiming to be therein the
rightful and natural purifiers. Let them first make the home sweet and
pure, and the streams which flow therefrom will sweeten and purify all
the rest.

As between the power of the ballot and this moral force exerted by
women there can not be an instant's doubt as to the choice. In natural
refinement and elevation of character, the ideal woman stands a step
above the ideal man. If she descends from this fortunate position to
take part in the coarse scramble for material power, what chance will
she have as against man's aggressive forces; and what can she possibly
gain that she can not win more directly, more effectually, and with
far more dignity and glory to herself by the exercise of her own
womanly prerogatives? She has, under God, the formation and rearing of
men in her own hands.

If they do not turn out in the end to be men who respect woman, who
will protect and defend her in the exercise of every one of her
God-given rights, it is because she has failed in her duty toward
them; has not been taught to comprehend her own power and to use it
to its best ends. For women to seek to control men by the power of
suffrage is like David essaying the armor of Saul. What woman needs is
her own sheepskin sling and her few smooth pebbles from the bed of the
brook, and then let her go forth in the name of the Lord God of Hosts,
and a victory as sure and decisive as that of the shepherd of Israel
awaits her.

Again, in chapter 4, entitled "The Power of the Home," the author
says, in substance: It is, perhaps, of minor consequence that women
should have felt themselves emancipated from buttons and bread
making; but that they should have learned to look in the least degree
slightingly upon the great duties of women as lovers of husbands, as
lovers of children, as the fountain and source of what is highest and
purest and holiest, and not less of what is homely and comfortable and
satisfying in the home, is a serious misfortune. Women can hardly
be said to have lost, perhaps what they have so rarely in any age
generally attained, that dignity which knows how to command, united
with a sweetness which seems all the while to be complying, the power,
supple and strong, which rescues the character of the ideal woman from
the charge of weakness, and at the same time exhibits its utmost of
grace and fascination.

But that of late years the gift has not been cultivated, has not, in
fact, thrown out such natural off-shoots as gave grace and glory to
some earlier social epochs, must be evident, it would seem, to any
thoughtful observer.

If, instead of trying to grasp more material power, women would pursue
those studies and investigations which tend to make them familiar with
what science teaches concerning the influence of the mother and the
home upon the child; of how completely the Creator in giving the
genesis of the human race into the hands of woman has made her not
only capable of, but responsible for, the regeneration of the world;
if they would reflect that nature by making man the bond slave of his
passions has put the lever into the hands of woman by which she can
control him, and if they would learn to use these powers, not as bad
women do for vile and selfish ends, but as the mothers of the race
ought, for pure, holy, and redemptive purposes, then would the sphere
of women be enlarged to some purpose; the atmosphere of the home would
be purified and vitalized, and the work of redeeming man from his
vices would be hopefully begun.

The following thoughts are also from the same source: Is this
emancipation of woman, if that is the proper phrase for it, a final
end, or only the means to an end? Are women to be as the outcome of it
emancipated from their world-old sphere of marriage and motherhood,
and control of the moral and spiritual destinies of the race, or are
they to be emancipated, in order to the proper fulfillment of these
functions? It would seem that most of the advanced women of the day
would answer the first of these questions affirmatively. Women, I
think it has been authoritatively stated, are to be emancipated in
order that they may become fully developed human beings, something
broader and stronger, something higher and finer, more delicate,
more aesthetic, more generally rarefied and sublimated than the
old-fashioned type of womanhood, the wife and the mother.

And the result of the woman movement seems more or less in a line thus
far with this theoretic aim. Of advanced women a less proportion are
inclined to marry than of the old-fashioned type; of those who do
marry a great proportion are restless in marriage bonds or seek
release from them, while of those who do remain in married life many
bear no children, and few, indeed, become mothers of large families.
The woman's vitality is concentrated in the brain and fructifies more
in intellectual than in physical forms.

Now, women who do not marry are one of two things; either they belong
to a class which we shrink from naming or they become old maids.

An old maid may be in herself a very useful and commendable person and
a valuable member of society; many are all this. But she has still
this sad drawback, she can not perpetuate herself; and since all
history and observation go to prove that the great final end of
creation, whatever it may be, can only be achieved through the
perpetuity and increasing progress of the race, it follows that
unmarried woman is not the most necessary, the indispensable type of
woman. If there were no other class of females left upon the earth but
the women who do not bear children, then the world would be a failure,
creation would be nonplussed.

If, then, the movement for the emancipation of woman has for its final
end the making of never so fine a quality, never so sublimated a sort
of non-child-bearing women, it is an absurdity upon the face of it.

From the standpoint of the Chimney Corner it appears that too many
even of the most gifted and liberal-minded of the leaders in the
woman's rights movement have not yet discovered this flaw in their
logic. They seek to individualize women, not seeing, apparently,
that individualized women, old maids, and individualized men, old
bachelors, though they may be useful in certain minor ways, are, after
all, to speak with the relentlessness of science, fragmentary and
abortive, so far as the great scheme of the universe is concerned, and
often become, in addition, seriously detrimental to the right progress
of society. The man and woman united in marriage form the unit of the
race; they alone rightly wield the self-perpetuating power upon which
all human progress depends; without which the race itself must perish,
the universe become null.

Reaching this point of the argument, it becomes evident that while the
development of the individual man or individual woman is no doubt of
great importance, since, as Margaret Fuller has justly said, "there
must be units before there can be union," it is chiefly so because of
their relation to each other. Their character should be developed
with a view to their future union with each other, and not to be
independent of it. When the leaders of the woman's movement fully
realize this, and shape their course accordingly, they will have made
a great advance both in the value of their work and its claim upon
public sympathy. Moreover, they will have reached a point from which
it will be possible for them to investigate reform and idealize the
relations existing between men and women.

Mr. President, it is no part of my purpose in any manner whatever
to speak disrespectfully of the large number of intelligent ladies,
sometimes called strong-minded, who are constantly going before the
public, agitating this question of female suffrage. While some of them
may, as is frequently charged, be courting notoriety, I have no
doubt they are generally earnestly engaged in a work which, in their
opinion, would better their condition and would do no injury to

In all this, however, I believe they are mistaken.

I think the mental and physical structure of the sexes, of itself,
sufficiently demonstrates the fact that the sterner, more laborious,
and more difficult duties of society are to be performed by the male
sex; while the more delicate duties of life, which require less
physical strength, and the proper training of youth, with the proper
discharge of domestic duties, belong to the female sex. Nature has so
arranged it that the male sex can not attend properly to the duties
assigned by the law of nature to the female sex, and that the female
sex can not discharge the more rigorous duties required of the male

This movement is an attempt to reverse the very laws of our being,
and to drag woman into an arena for which she is not suited, and to
devolve upon her onerous duties which the Creator never intended that
she should perform.

While the husband discharges the laborious and fatiguing duties of
important official positions, and conducts political campaigns, and
discharges the duties connected with the ballot-box, or while he bears
arms in time of war, or discharges executive or judicial duties, or
the duties of juryman, requiring close confinement and many times
great mental fatigue; or while the husband in a different sphere of
life discharges the laborious duties of the plantation, the workshop,
or the machine shop, it devolves upon the wife to attend to the duties
connected with home life, to care for infant children, and to train
carefully and properly those who in the youthful period are further
advanced towards maturity.

The woman with the infant at the breast is in no condition to plow
on the farm, labor hard in the workshop, discharge the duties of a
juryman, conduct causes as an advocate in court, preside in important
cases as a judge, command armies as a general, or bear arms as a
private. These duties, and others of like character, belong to the
male sex; while the more important duties of home, to which I have
already referred, devolve upon the female sex. We can neither reverse
the physical nor the moral laws of our nature, and as this movement is
an attempt to reverse these laws, and to devolve upon the female
sex important and laborious duties for which they are not by nature
physically competent, I am not prepared to support this bill.

My opinion is that a very large majority of the American people, yes,
a large majority of the female sex, oppose it, and that they act
wisely in doing so. I therefore protest against its passage.

Mr. DOLPH. Mr. President, I shall not detain the Senate long. I do
not feel satisfied when a measure so important to the people of this
country and to humanity is about to be submitted to a vote of the
Senate to remain wholly silent.

The pending question is upon the adoption of a joint resolution in the
usual form submitting to the legislatures of the several States of the
Union for their ratification an additional article as an amendment to
the Federal Constitution, which is as follows:


    SECTION I. The right of citizens of the United States to vote
    shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any
    State on account of sex.

    SEC. 2. The Congress shall have power, by appropriate legislation,
    to enforce the provisions of this article.

Fortunately for the perpetuity of our institutions and the prosperity
of the people, the Federal Constitution contains a provision for its
own amendment. The framers of that instrument foresaw that time and
experience, the growth of the country and the consequent expansion of
the Government, would develop the necessity for changes in it, and
they therefore wisely provided in Article V as follows:

    The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it
    necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on
    the application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several
    States, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which in
    either case shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part
    of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of
    three-fourths of the several States, or by conventions in
    three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of
    ratification may be proposed by the Congress.

Under this provision, at the first session of the First Congress, ten
amendments were submitted to the Legislatures of the several States,
in due time ratified by the constitutional number of States, and
became a part of the Constitution. Since then there have been added to
the Constitution by the same process five different articles.

To secure an amendment to the Constitution under this article requires
the concurrent action of two-thirds of both branches of Congress and
the affirmative action of three-fourths of the States. Of course
Congress can refuse to submit a proposed amendment to the Legislatures
of the several States, no matter how general the demand for such
submission may be, but I am inclined to believe with the senior
Senator from New Hampshire [Mr. BLAIR], in the proposition submitted
by him in a speech he made early in the present session upon the
pending resolution, that the question as to whether this resolution
shall be submitted to the Legislatures of the several States for
ratification does not involve the right or policy of the proposed
amendment. I am also inclined to believe with him that should
the demand by the people for the submission by Congress to the
Legislatures of the several States of a proposed amendment become
general it would he the duty of the Congress to submit such amendment
irrespective of the individual views of the members of Congress, and
thus give the people through their Legislative Assemblies power to
pass upon the question as to whether or not the Constitution should be
amended. At all events, for myself, I should not hesitate to vote to
submit for ratification by the Legislatures of the several States an
amendment to the Constitution although opposed to it if I thought the
demand for it justified such a course.

But I shall vote for the pending joint resolution because I am in
favor of the proposed amendment. I have been for many years convinced
that the demand made by women for the right of suffrage is just, and
that of all the distinctions which have been made between citizens in
the laws which confer or regulate suffrage the distinction of sex is
the least defensible.

I am not going to discuss the question at length at this time. The
arguments for and against woman suffrage have been often stated in
this Chamber, and are pretty fully set forth in the majority and
minority reports of the Senate committee upon the pending joint
resolution. The arguments in its favor were fully stated by the senior
Senator from New Hampshire in his able speech upon the question before
alluded to, and now the objections to it have been forcibly and
elaborately presented by the senior Senator from Georgia [Mr. BROWN].
I could not expect by anything I could say to change a single vote in
this body, and the public is already fully informed upon the question,
as the arguments in favor of woman suffrage have been voiced in every
hamlet in the land with great ability. No question in this country has
been more ably discussed than this has been by the women themselves.

I do not think a single objection which is made to woman suffrage is
tenable. No one will contend but that women have sufficient capacity
to vote intelligently.

Sir, sacred and profane history is full of the records of great deeds
by women. They have ruled kingdoms, and, my friend from Georgia to
the contrary notwithstanding, they have commanded armies. They have
excelled in statecraft, they have shone in literature, and, rising
superior to their environments and breaking the shackles with which
custom and tyranny have bound them, they have stood side by side with
men in the fields of the arts and the sciences.

If it were a fact that woman is intellectually inferior to man, which
I do not admit, still that would be no reason why she should not
be permitted to participate in the formation and control of the
Government to which she owes allegiance. If we are to have as a test
for the exercise of the right of suffrage a qualification based upon
intelligence, let it be applied to women and to men alike. If it be
admitted that suffrage is a right, that is the end of controversy;
there can no longer be any argument made against woman suffrage,
because, if it is her right, then, if there were but one poor woman
in all the United States demanding the right of suffrage, it would be
tyranny to refuse the demand.

But our friends say that suffrage is not a right; that it is a matter
of grace only; that it is a privilege which is conferred upon or
withheld from individual members of society by society at pleasure.
Society as here used means man's government, and the proposition
assumes the fact that men have a right to institute and control
governments for themselves and for women. I admit that in the
governments of the world, past and present, men as a rule have assumed
to be the ruling classes; that they have instituted governments from
participation in which they have excluded women; that they have made
laws for themselves and for women, and as a rule have themselves
administered them; but that the provisions conferring or regulating
suffrage in the constitutions and laws of governments so constituted
determined the question of the right of suffrage can not be

Let us suppose, if we can, a community separated from all other
communities, having no organized government, owing no allegiance to
any existing governments, without any knowledge of the character
of present or past governments, so that when they come to form a
government for themselves they can do so free from the bias or
prejudice of custom or education, composed of an equal number of
men and women, having equal property rights to be defined and to
be protected by law. When such community came to institute a
government--and it would have an undoubted right to institute a
government for itself, and the instinct of self-preservation would
soon lead them to do so--will my friend from Georgia tell me by what
right, human or divine, the male portion of that community could
exclude the female portion, although equal in number and having equal
property rights with the men, from participation in the formation of
such government and in the enactment of laws for the government of the
community? I understand the Senator, if he should answer, would
say that he believes the Author of our existence, the Ruler of the
universe, has given different spheres to man and woman. Admit that;
and still neither in nature nor in the revealed will of God do I find
anything to lead me to believe that the Creator did not intend that a
woman should exercise the right of suffrage.

During the consideration by this body at the last session of the bill
to admit Washington Territory into the Union, referring to the
fact that in that Territory woman had been enfranchised, I briefly
submitted my views on this subject, which I ask the Secretary to read,
so that it may be incorporated in my remarks.

The Secretary read as follows:

    Mr. President, there is another matter which I consider pertinent
    to this discussion, and of too much importance to be left entirely
    unnoticed on this occasion. It is something new in our political
    history. It is full of hope for the women of this country and
    of the world, and full of promise for the future of republican
    institutions. I refer to the fact that in Washington Territory the
    right of suffrage has been extended to women of proper age, and
    that the delegates to the constitutional convention to be held
    under the provisions of this bill, should it become a law, will,
    under existing laws of the Territory, be elected by its citizens
    without distinction as to sex, and the constitution to be
    submitted to the people will be passed upon in like manner.

    I do not intend to discuss the question of woman suffrage upon
    this occasion, and I refer to it mainly for the purpose of
    directing attention to the advanced position which the people of
    this Territory have taken upon this question. I do not believe
    the proposition so often asserted that suffrage is a political
    privilege only, and not a natural right. It is regulated by
    the constitution and laws of a State I grant, but it needs no
    argument, it appears to me, to show that a constitution and laws
    adopted and enacted by a fragment of the whole body of the people,
    but binding alike on all, is a usurpation of the powers of

    Government is but organized society. Whatever its form, it has its
    origin in the necessities of mankind and is indispensable for
    the maintenance of civilized society. It is essential to every
    government that it should represent the supreme power of the
    State, and be capable of subjecting the will of its individual
    citizens to its authority. Such a government can only derive
    its just powers from the consent of the governed, and can be
    established only under a fundamental law which is self-imposed.
    Every citizen of suitable age and discretion who is to be subject
    to such a government has, in my judgment, a natural right to
    participate in its formation. It is a significant fact that should
    Congress pass this bill and authorize the people of Washington
    Territory to frame a State constitution and organize a State
    government, the fundamental law of the State will be made by all
    the citizens of the State to be subject to it, and not by one-half
    of them. And we shall witness the spectacle of a State government
    founded in accordance with the principles of equality, and have a
    State at last with a truly republican form of government.

    The fathers of the Republic enunciated the doctrine "that all men
    are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with
    certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty,
    and the pursuit of happiness." It is strange that any one in this
    enlightened age should be found to contend that this declaration
    is true only of men, and that a man is endowed by his Creator with
    inalienable rights not possessed by a woman. The lamented Lincoln
    immortalized the expression that ours is a Government "of the
    people, by the people, and for the people," and yet it is far from
    that. There can be no government by the people where one-half
    of them are allowed no voice in its organization and control. I
    regard the struggle going on in this country and elsewhere for
    the enfranchisement of women as but a continuation of the great
    struggle for human liberty which has, from the earliest dawn of
    authentic history, convulsed nations, rent kingdoms, and drenched
    battlefields with human blood. I look upon the victories which
    have been achieved in the cause of woman's enfranchisement in
    Washington Territory and elsewhere as the crowning victories of
    all which have been won in the long-continued, still-continuing
    contest between liberty and oppression, and as destined to exert a
    greater influence upon the human race than any achieved upon the
    battlefield in ancient or modern times.

Mr. DOLPH. Mr. President, the movement for woman suffrage has passed
the stage of ridicule. The pending joint resolution may not pass
during this Congress, but the time is not far distant when in every
State of the Union and in every Territory women will be admitted to
an equal voice in the government, and that will be done whether the
Federal Constitution is amended or not. The first convention demanding
suffrage for women was held at Seneca Falls, in the State of New York,
in 1848. To-day in three of the Territories of the Union women enjoy
full suffrage, in a large number of States and Territories they
are entitled to vote at school meetings, and in all the States and
Territories there is a growing sentiment in favor of this measure
which will soon compel respectful consideration by the law-making

No measure in this country involving such radical changes in our
institutions and fraught with so great consequences to this country
and to humanity has made such progress as the movement for woman
suffrage. Denunciation will not much longer answer for arguments by
the opponents of this measure. The portrayal of the evils to flow from
woman suffrage such as we have heard pictured to-day by the Senator
from Georgia, the loss of harmony between husband and wife, and the
consequent instability of the marriage relation, the neglect of
husband and children by wives and mothers for the performance of their
political duties, in short the incapacitating of women for wives and
mothers and companions, will not much longer serve to frighten the
timid. Proof is better than theory. The experiment has been tried
and the predicted evils to flow from it have not followed. On the
contrary, if we can believe the almost universal testimony, everywhere
where it has been tried it has been followed by the most beneficial

In Washington Territory, since woman was enfranchised, there have been
two elections. At the first there were 8,368 votes cast by women out
of a total vote of 34,000 and over. At the second election, which was
held in November last, out of 48,000 votes cast in the Territory,
12,000 votes were cast by women. The opponents of female suffrage
are silenced there. The Territorial conventions of both parties have
resolved in favor of woman suffrage, and there is not a proposition,
so far as I know in all that Territory, to repeal the law conferring
suffrage upon woman.

I desire also to inform my friend from Georgia that since women were
enfranchised in Washington Territory nature has continued in her
wonted courses. The sun rises and sets; there is seed-time and
harvest; seasons come and go. The population has increased with the
usual regularity and rapidity. Marriages have been quite as frequent,
and divorces have been no more so. Women have not lost their influence
for good upon society, but men have been elevated and refined. If we
are to believe the testimony which comes from lawyers, physicians,
ministers of the gospel, merchants, mechanics, farmers, and laboring
men, the united testimony of the entire people of the Territory, the
results of woman suffrage there have been all that could be desired by
its friends. Some of the results in that Territory have been seen
in making the polls quiet and orderly, in awaking a new interest in
educational questions and in questions of moral reform, in securing
the passage of beneficial laws and the proper enforcement of them;
and, as I have said before, in elevating men, and that without injury
to the women.

Mr. EUSTIS. Will the Senator allow me to ask him a question?

Mr. DOLPH. The Senator can ask me a question, if he chooses.

Mr. EUSTIS. If it be right and proper to confer the right of suffrage
on women, I ask the Senator whether he does not think that women ought
to be required to serve on juries?

Mr. DOLPH. I can answer that very readily. It does not necessarily
follow that because a woman is permitted to vote and thus have a voice
in making the laws by which she is to be governed and by which her
property rights are to be determined, she must perform such duty as
service upon a jury. But I will inform the Senator that in Washington
Territory she does serve upon juries, and with great satisfaction
to the judges of the courts and to all parties who desire to see an
honest and efficient administration of law.

Mr. EUSTIS. I was aware of the fact that women are required to serve
on juries in Washington Territory because they are allowed to vote.
I understand that under all State laws those duties are considered
correlative. Now, I ask the Senator whether he thinks it is a decent
spectacle to take a mother away from her nursing infant and lock her
up all night to sit on a jury?

Mr. DOLPH. I intended to say before I reached this point of being
interrogated that I not only do not believe that there is a single
argument against woman suffrage that is tenable, and I may be
prejudiced in the matter, but that there is not a single one that is
really worthy of any serious consideration. The Senator from Louisiana
is a lawyer, and he knows very well that under such circumstances, a
mother with a nursing infant, that fact being made known to the court
would be excused; that would be a sufficient excuse. He knows himself,
and he has seen it done a hundred times, that for trivial excuses
compared to that men have been excused from service on a jury.

Mr. EUSTIS. I will ask the Senator whether he knows that under the
laws of Washington Territory that is a legal excuse from serving on a

Mr. DOLPH. I am not prepared to state that it is; but there is no
question in the world but that any judge, that fact being made known,
would excuse a woman from attendance upon a jury. No special authority
would be required. I will state further that I have not learned that
there has been any serious objection on the part of any woman summoned
for jury service in that Territory to perform that duty. I have not
learned that it has worked to the disadvantage of any family in the
Territory; but I do know that the judges of the courts have taken
especial pains to commend the women who have been called to serve upon
juries for the manner in which they have discharged their duty.

I wish to say further that there is no connection whatever between
jury service and the right of suffrage. The question as to who shall
perform jury service, the question as to who shall perform military
service, the question as to who shall perform civil official duty in
a government is certainly a matter to be regulated by the community
itself; but the question of the right to participate in the formation
of a government which controls the life and the property and the
destinies of its citizens, I contend is a question of right that goes
back of these mere regulations for the protection of property and the
punishment of offenses under the laws. It is a matter of right which
it is tyranny to refuse to any citizen demanding it.

Now, Mr. President, I shall close by saying: God speed the day when
not only in all the States of the Union and in all the Territories,
but everywhere, woman shall stand before the law freed from the last
shackle which has been riveted upon her by tyranny and the last
disability which has been imposed upon her by ignorance, not only in
respect to the right of suffrage, but in every other respect the peer
and equal of her brother, man.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. VEST. Mr. President, any measure of legislation which affects
popular government based on the will of the people as expressed
through their suffrage is not only important but vitally so. If this
Government, which is based on the intelligence of the people, shall
ever be destroyed it will be by injudicious, immature, or corrupt
suffrage. If the ship of state launched by our fathers shall ever be
destroyed, it will be by striking the rock of universal, unprepared
suffrage. Suffrage once given can never be taken away. Legislatures
and conventions may do everything else; they never can do that. When
any particular class or portion of the community is once invested with
this privilege it is used, accomplished, and eternal.

The Senator who last spoke on this question refers to the successful
experiment in regard to woman-suffrage in the Territories of Wyoming
and Washington. Mr. President, it is not upon the plains of the
sparsely-settled Territories of the West that woman suffrage can be
tested. Suffrage in the rural districts and sparsely settled regions
of this country must from the very nature of things remain pure when
corrupt everywhere else. The danger of corrupt suffrage is in the
cities, and those masses of population to which civilization tends
everywhere in all history. Whilst the country has been pure and
patriotic, the cities have been the first cancers to appear upon the
body-politic in all ages of the world.

Wyoming Territory! Washington Territory! Where are their large cities?
Where are the localities in these Territories where the strain upon
popular government must come? The Senator from New Hampshire, who is
so conspicuous in this movement, appalled the country some months
since by his ghastly array of illiteracy in the Southern States. He
proposes that $77,000,000 of the people's money be taken in order to
strike down the great foe to republican government, illiteracy. How
was that illiteracy brought upon this country? It was by giving the
suffrage to unprepared voters. It is not my purpose to go back into
the past and make any partisan or sectional appeal, but it is a fact
known to every intelligent man that in one single act the right of
suffrage was given without preparation to hundreds of thousands of
voters who to-day can scarcely read. That Senator proposes now to
double, and more than double, that illiteracy. He proposes to give the
negro women of the South this right of suffrage, utterly unprepared as
they are for it.

In a convention some two years and a half ago in the city of
Louisville an intelligent negro from the South said the negro men
could not vote the Democratic ticket because the women would not live
with them if they did. The negro men go out in the hotels and upon the
railroad cars. They go to the cities and by attrition they wear
away the prejudice of race; but the women remain at home, and their
emotional natures aggregate and compound the race-prejudice, and when
suffrage is given them what must be the result?

Mr. President, it is not my purpose to speak of the inconveniences,
for they are nothing more, of woman suffrage. I trust that as a
gentleman I respect the feelings of the ladies and their advocates. I
am not here to ridicule. My purpose only is to use legitimate argument
as to a movement which commands respectful consideration, if for no
other reason than because it comes from women. But it is impossible
to divest ourselves of a certain degree of sentiment when considering
this question.

I pity the man who can consider any question affecting the influence
of woman with the cold, dry logic of business. What man can, without
aversion, turn from the blessed memory of that dear old grandmother,
or the gentle words and caressing hand of that blessed mother gone to
the unknown world, to face in its stead the idea of a female justice
of the peace or township constable? For my part I want when I go to my
home--when I turn from the arena where man contends with man for what
we call the prizes of this paltry world--I want to go back, not to be
received in the masculine embrace of some female ward politician, but
to the earnest, loving look and touch of a true woman. I want to go
back to the jurisdiction of the wife, the mother; and instead of a
lecture upon finance or the tariff, or upon the construction of the
Constitution, I want those blessed, loving details of domestic life
and domestic love.

I have said I would not speak of the inconveniences to arise from
woman suffrage--I care not--whether the mother is called upon to
decide as a juryman or jury-woman rights of property or rights of
life, whilst her baby is "mewling and puking" in solitary confinement
at home. There are other considerations more important, and one of
them to my mind is insuperable. I speak now respecting women as a sex.
I believe that they are better than men, but I do not believe they are
adapted to the political work of this world. I do not believe that the
Great Intelligence ever intended them to invade the sphere of work
given to men, tearing down and destroying all the best influences for
which God has intended them.

The great evil in this country to-day is in emotional suffrage. The
great danger to-day is in excitable suffrage. If the voters of this
country could think always coolly, and if they could deliberate, if
they could go by judgment and not by passion, our institutions would
survive forever, eternal as the foundations of the continent itself;
but massed together, subject to the excitements of mobs and of these
terrible political contests that come upon us from year to year under
the autonomy of our Government, what would be the result if suffrage
were given to the women of the United States?

Women are essentially emotional. It is no disparagement to them they
are so. It is no more insulting to say that women are emotional than
to say that they are delicately constructed physically and unfitted to
become soldiers or workmen under the sterner, harder pursuits of life.

What we want in this country is to avoid emotional suffrage, and what
we need is to put more logic into public affairs and less feeling.
There are spheres in which feeling should be paramount. There are
kingdoms in which the heart should reign supreme. That kingdom belongs
to woman. The realm of sentiment, the realm of love, the realm of the
gentler and the holier and kindlier attributes that make the name of
wife, mother, and sister next to that of God himself.

I would not, and I say it deliberately, degrade woman by giving her
the right of suffrage. I mean the word in its full signification,
because I believe that woman as she is to-day, the queen of home and
of hearts, is above the political collisions of this world, and should
always be kept above them.

Sir, if it be said to us that this is a natural right belonging to
women, I deny it. The right of suffrage is one to be determined by
expediency and by policy, and given by the State to whom it pleases.
It is not a natural right; it is a right that comes from the state.

It is claimed that if the suffrage be given to women it is to protect
them. Protect them from whom? The brute that would invade their rights
would coerce the suffrage of his wife, or sister, or mother as he
would wring from her the hard earnings of her toil to gratify his own
beastly appetites and passions.

It is said that the suffrage is to be given to enlarge the sphere of
woman's influence. Mr. President, it would destroy her influence.
It would take her down from that pedestal where she is to-day,
influencing as a mother the minds of her offspring, influencing by her
gentle and kindly caress the action of her husband toward the good and

But I rise not to discuss this question, but to discharge a request.
I know that when a man attacks this claim for woman suffrage he is
sneered at and ridiculed as afraid to meet women in the contests for
political honor and supremacy. If so, I oppose to the request of these
ladies the arguments of their own sex; but first, I ask the Secretary
to read a paper which has been sent to me with a request that I place
it before the Senate.

The Chief Clerk read as follows:

_To the honorable Senate and House of Representatives_:

We, the undersigned, respectfully remonstrate against the further
extension of suffrage to women.

H.P. Kidder.
O.W. Peabody.
R.M. Morse, jr.
Charles A. Welch.
Augustus Lowell.
Francis Parkman, LL.D.
Thomas Bailey Aldrich.
Edmund Dwight.
Charles H. Dalton.
Henry Lee.
W. Endicott, jr.
Samuel Wells.
Hon. John Lowell.
William G. Russell.
John C. Ropes.
Robert D. Smith.
George A. Gardner.
F. Haven, jr.
W. Powell Mason.
B.F. Stevens.
Charles Marsh.
Charles W. Eliot, president, Harvard University.
Prof. C.F. Dunbar.
Prof. J.P. Cook.
Prof. J. Lovering.
Prof. W.W. Goodwin.
Prof. Francis Bowen.
Prof. Wolcott Gibbs.
Prof. F.J. Child.
Prof. John Trowbridge.
Prof. G.I. Goodale.
Prof. J.B. Greenough.
Prof. H.W. Torrey.
Prof. J.H. Thayer.
Prof. E.W. Gurney.
Justin Winsor.
H.W. Paine.
Hon. W.E. Russell.
James C. Fiske.
George Putnam.
C.A. Curtis.
T. Jefferson Coolidge.
T.K. Lothrop.
Augustus P. Loring.
W.F. Draper.
George Draper.
Francis Brooks.
Rev. J.P. Bodfish, chancellor, Cathedral Holy Cross.
Rt. Rev. B.H. Paddock, bishop of Massachusetts.
Rev. Henry M. Dexter.
Rev. H. Brooke Herford.
Rev. O.B. Frothingham.
Rev. Ellis Wendell.
Rev. Geo. F. Staunton.
Rev. A.H. Heath.
Rev. W.H. Dowden.
Rev. J.B. Seabury.
Rev. C. Woodworth.
Rev. Leonard K. Storrs.
Rev. Howard N. Brown.
Rev. Edward J. Young.
Rev. Andrew P. Peabody.
Rev. George Z. Gray.
Rev. William Lawrence.
Rev. E.H. Hall.
Rev. Nicholas Hoppin.
Rev. David G. Haskins.
Rev. L.S. Crawford.
Rev. J.I.T. Coolidge.
Rev. Henry A. Hazen.
Rev. F.H. Hedge.
Rev. H.A. Parker.
Rev. Asa Bullard.
Rev. Alexander McKenzie.
Rev. J.F. Spaulding.
Rev. S.K. Lothrop.
Rev. E. Osborne, S.S.J.E.
Rev. Leighton Parks.
Rev. H.W. Foote.
Rev. Morton Dexter.
Rev. David H. Brewer.
Rev. Judson Smith.
Rev. L.W. Shearman.
Rev. Charles F. Dole.
Rev. George M. Boynton.
Rev. D.W. Waldron.
Rev. John A. Hamilton.
Rev. Isaac P. Langworthy.
Rev. E.K. Alden.
Rev. E.E. Strong.
Rev. M.D. Bisbee.
Rev. Oliver S. Dean.
Henry Parkman.
W.H. Sayward.
Charles A. Cummings.
Hon. S.C. Cobb.
Sidney Bartlett.
John C. Gray.
Louis Brandeis.
Hon. George G. Crocker.
John Bartlett.
John Fiske.
J.T.G. Nichols, M.D.
C.E. Vaughan, M.D.
John Homans, M.D.
Chauncey Smith.
Benj. Vaughan.
Charles F. Walcott.
J.B. Warner.
Walter Dean.
S.H. Kennard.
E. Whitney.
W.P.P. Longfellow.
H.O. Houghton.
J.M. Spelman.
J.C. Dodge.
E.S. Dixwell.
L.S. Jones.
G.W.C. Noble.
Charles Theodore Russell.
Clement L. Smith.
Ezra Farnsworth.
H.H. Edes.
Hon. R.R. Bishop.
H.H. Sprague.
Charles R. Codman.
Darwin E. Ware.
Arthur E. Thayer.
C.F. Choate.
Richard H. Dana.
O.D. Forbes.
Edward L. Geddings.
William V. Hutchings.
John L. Gardner.
L.M. Sargent.
H.L. Hallett.
E.P. Brown.
W.A. Tower.
J. Edwards.
G.H. Campbell.
Samuel Carr, jr.
Edward Brooks.
J. Randolph Coolidge.
J. Eliot Cabot.
Fred. Law Olmstead.
Charles S. Sargent.
C.A. Richardson.
Charles F. Shimmin.
Edward Bangs.
J.G. Freeman.
H.H. Coolidge.
David Hunt.
Alfred D. Hurd.
Edward I. Brown.
W.G. Saltonstall.
Thomas Weston, jr.
Richard M. Hodges, M.D.
Henry J. Bigelow, M.D.
Charles D. Homans, M.D.
George H. Lyman, M.D.
John Dixwell, M.D.
R.M. Pulsifer.
Edward L. Beard.
Solomon Lincoln.
G.B. Haskell.
John Boyle O'Reilly.
Arlo Bates.
Horace P. Chandler.
George O. Shattuck.
Hon. Alex. H. Rice.
Henry Cabot Lodge.
Francis Peabody, jr.
Harcourt Amory.
F.E. Parker.
A.S. Wheeler.
Jacob C. Rogers.
S.G. Snelling.
C.H. Barker.
J.H. Walker.
Forrest E. Barker.
John D. Wasbburn.
Martin Brimmer.
Fred L. Ames.
Hon. A.P. Martin.

Mr. DOLPH. If the Senator from Missouri will permit me, those names
sounded very much like the names of men.

Mr. VEST. They are men's names. I did not say that the petition was
signed by ladies. I referred to the papers in my hand, which I shall
proceed to lay before the Senate.

I hold in my hand an argument against woman suffrage by a lady very
well known in the United States, and well known to the Senators from
Massachusetts, a lady whose philanthropy, whose exertions in behalf
of the oppressed and poor and afflicted have given her a national
reputation. I refer to Mrs. Clara T. Leonard, the wife of a
distinguished lawyer, and whose words of themselves will command the
attention of the public.

The Chief Clerk read as follows:

    [Letter from Mrs. Clara T. Leonard.]

    The following letter was read by Thornton K. Lothrop, esq., at
    the hearing before the Legislative committee on woman suffrage,
    January 29, 1884:

    The principal reasons assigned for giving suffrage to women are

    That the right to vote is a natural and inherent right of which
    women are deprived by the tyranny of men.

    That the fact that the majority of women do not wish for the right
    or privilege to vote is not a reason for depriving the minority of
    an inborn right.

    That women are taxed but not represented, contrary to the
    principles of free government.

    That society would gain by the participation of women in
    government, because women are purer and more conscientious than
    men, and especially that the cause of temperance would be promoted
    by women's votes.

    Those women who are averse to female suffrage hold differing
    opinions on all these points, and are entitled to be heard
    fairly and without unjust reproach and contempt on the part of
    "suffragists," so called.

    The right to vote is not an inherent right, but, like the right to
    hold land, is conferred upon individuals by general consent, with
    certain limitations, and for the general good of all.

    It is as true to say that the earth was made for all its
    inhabitants, and that human has a right to appropriate a portion
    of its surface, as to say that all persons have a right to
    participate in government. Many persons can be found to hold both
    these opinions. Experience has proved that the general good is
    promoted by ownership of the soil, with the resultant inducement
    to its improvement.

    Voting is simply a mathematical test of strength. Uncivilized
    nations strive for mastery by physical combat, thus wasting life
    and resources. Enlightened societies agree to determine the
    relative strength of opposing parties by actual count. God has
    made women weaker than men, incapable of taking part in battles,
    indisposed to make riot and political disturbance.

    The vote which, in the hand of a man, is a "possible bayonet,"
    would not, when thrown by a woman, represent any physical power to
    enforce her will. If all the women in the State voted in one way,
    and all the men in the opposite one, the women, even if in the
    majority, would not carry the day, because the vote would not be
    an estimate of material strength and the power to enforce the
    will of the majority. When one considers the strong passions and
    conflicts excited in elections, it is vain to suppose that the
    really stronger would yield to the weaker party.

    It is no more unjust to deprive women of the ballot than to
    deprive minors, who outnumber those above the age of majority, and
    who might well claim, many of them, to be as well able to decide
    political questions as their elders.

    If the majority of women are either not desirous to vote or are
    strongly opposed to voting, the minority should yield in this, as
    they are obliged to do in all other public matters. In fact, they
    will be obliged to yield, so long as the present state of opinion
    exists among women in general, for legislators will naturally
    consult the wishes of the women of their own families and
    neighborhood, and be governed by them. There can be no doubt that
    in this State, where women are highly respected and have great
    influence, the ballot would be readily granted to them by men, if
    they desired it, or generally approved of woman suffrage. Women
    are taxed, it is true; so are minors, without the ballot; it is
    untrue, to say that either class is not represented. The thousand
    ties of relationship and friendship cause the identity of interest
    between the sexes. What is good in a community for men, is good
    also for their wives and sisters, daughters and friends. The laws
    of Massachusetts discriminate much in favor of women, by exempting
    unmarried women of small estate from taxation; by allowing women,
    and not men, to acquire a settlement without paying a tax; by
    compelling husbands to support their wives, but exempting the
    wife, even when rich, from supporting an indigent husband; by
    making men liable for debts of wives, and not _vice versa_. In the
    days of the American Revolution, the first cause of complaint was,
    that a whole people were taxed but not represented.

    To-day there is not a single interest of woman which is not
    shared and defended by men, not a subject in which she takes an
    intelligent interest in which she cannot exert an influence in the
    community proportional to her character and ability. It is because
    the men who govern live not in a remote country, with separate
    interests, but in the closest relations of family and
    neighborhood, and bound by the tenderest ties to the other sex,
    who are fully and well represented by relations, friends, and
    neighbors in every locality. That women are purer and more
    conscientious than men, as a sex, is exceedingly doubtful when
    applied to politics. The faults of the sexes are different,
    according to their constitution and habits of life. Men are more
    violent and open in their misdeeds, but any person who knows human
    nature well and has examined it in its various phases knows that
    each sex is open to its peculiar temptation and sin; that the
    human heart is weak and prone to evil without distinction of sex.

    It seems certain that, were women admitted to vote and to hold
    political office, all the intrigue, corruption, and selfishness
    displayed by men in political life would also be found among
    women. In the temperance cause we should gain little or nothing by
    admitting women to vote, for two reasons: first, that experience
    has proved that the strictest laws can not be enforced if a great
    number of people determine to drink liquor; secondly, because
    among women voters we should find in our cities thousands of
    foreign birth who habitually drink beer and spirits daily without
    intoxication, and who regard license or prohibitory laws as an
    infringement of their liberty. It has been said that municipal
    suffrage for women in England has proved a political success. Even
    if this is true, it offers no parallel to the condition of things
    in our own cities. First, because there is in England a property
    qualification required to vote, which excludes the more ignorant
    and irresponsible classes, and makes women voters few and
    generally intelligent; secondly, because England is an old,
    conservative country, with much emigration and but little

    Here is a constant influx of foreigners: illiterate, without love
    of our country or interest in, or knowledge of, the history of our
    liberties, to whom, after a short residence, we give a full share
    in our government. The result begins to be alarming--enormous
    taxation, purchasable votes, demagogism,--all these alarm the
    more thoughtful, and we are not yet sure of the end. It is a wise
    thought that the possible bayonet or ruder weapon in the hands
    of our new citizens would be even worse than the ballot, and our
    safer course is to give the immigrants a stake and interest in
    the government. But when we learn that on an average one thousand
    immigrants per week landed at the port of Boston in the past
    calendar year, is it not well to consider carefully how we double,
    and more than double, the popular vote, with all its dangers and
    its ingredients of ignorance and irresponsibility. Last of all, it
    must be considered that the lives of men and women are essentially

    One sex lives in public, in constant conflict with the world; the
    other sex must live chiefly in private and domestic life, or
    the race will be without homes and gradually die out. If nearly
    one-half of the male voters of our State forego their duty or
    privilege, as is the fact, what proportion of women would exercise
    the suffrage? Probably a very small one. The heaviest vote would
    be in the cities, as now, and the ignorant and unfit women would
    be the ready prey of the unscrupulous demagogue. Women do not hold
    a position inferior to men. In this land they have the softer
    side of life--the best of everything. There are, of course,
    exceptions--individuals--whose struggle in life is hard, whose
    husbands and fathers are tyrants instead of protectors; so there
    are bad wives, and men ruined and disheartened by selfish, idle

    The best work that a woman can do for the purifying of politics is
    by her influence over men, by the wise training of her children,
    by her intelligent, unselfish counsel to husband, brother, or
    friend, by a thorough knowledge and discussion of the needs of her
    community. Many laws on the statute-books of our own and other
    States have been the work of women. More might be added.

    It is the opinion of many of us that woman's power is greater
    without the ballot or possibility of office-holding for gain. When
    standing outside of politics she discusses great questions upon
    their merit. Much has been achieved by women in the anti-slavery
    cause, the temperance cause, the improvement of public and private
    charities, the reformation of criminals, all by intelligent
    discussion and influence upon men. Our legislators have been ready
    to listen to women and carry out their plans when well framed.

    Women can do much useful public service upon boards of education,
    school committees, and public charities, and are beginning to
    do such work. It is of vital importance to the integrity of our
    charitable and educational administration that it be kept out of
    politics. Is it not well that we should have one sex who have no
    political ends to serve who can fill responsible positions of
    public trust? Voting alone can easily be exercised by women
    without rude contact, but to attain any political power women must
    affiliate themselves with men; because women will differ on
    public questions, must attend primary meetings and caucuses, will
    inevitably hold public office and strive for it; in short, women
    must enter the political arena. This result will be repulsive to a
    large portion of the sex, and would tend to make women unfeminine
    and combative, which would be a detriment to society.

    It is well that men after the burden and heat of the day should
    return to homes where the quiet side of life is presented to them.
    In these peaceful New England homes of ours, great and noble men
    have been raised by wise and pious mothers, who instructed them,
    not in politics, but in those general principles of justice,
    integrity, and unselfishness which belong to and will insure
    statesmanship in the men who are true to them. Here is the
    stronghold of the sex, weakest in body, powerful for good or evil
    over the stronger one, whom women sway and govern, not by the
    ballot and by greater numbers but by those gentle influences
    designed by the Creator to soften and subdue man's ruder nature.


Mr. HOAR. The Senator from Missouri has alluded to me in connection
with the name of this lady. Perhaps he will allow me to make an
additional statement to that which I furnished him, in order that the
statement about her may be complete.

All that the Senator from Missouri has said of the character and worth
of Mrs. Leonard is true. I do not know her personally. Her husband is
my respected personal friend, a lawyer of high standing and character.
All that the Senator has said of her ability is proved better than by
any other testimony, by the very able and powerful letter which has
just been read. But Mrs. Leonard herself is the strongest refutation
of her own argument.

Politics, the political arena, political influence, political action
in this country consists, I suppose, in two things: one of them the
being intrusted with the administration of public affairs, and second,
having the vote counted in determining who shall be public servants,
and what public measures shall prevail in the commonwealth. Now, this
lady was intrusted for years with one of the most important public
functions ever exercised by any human being in the commonwealth
of Massachusetts. We have a board, called the board of lunacy and
charity, which controls the large charities for which Massachusetts
is famous and in many of which she was the first among civilized
communities, for the care of the pauper and the insane and the
criminal woman, and the friendless and the poor child. It is one
of the most important things, except the education of youth, which
Massachusetts does.

A little while ago a political campaign in Massachusetts turned upon a
charge which her governor made against the people of the commonwealth
in regard to the conduct of the great hospital at Tewksbury, where
she was charged by her chief executive magistrate with making sale of
human bodies, with cruelty to the poor and defenseless; and not only
the whole country, but especially the whole people of Massachusetts,
were stirred to the very depths of their souls by that accusation.
Mrs. Clara T. Leonard, the writer of this letter, came forward and
informed the people that she had been one of the board who had managed
that institution for years, that she knew all about it through and
through, that the accusation was false and a slander; and before her
word and her character the charge of that distinguished governor went
down and sunk into merited obscurity and ignominy.

Now, the question is whether the lady who can be intrusted with the
charge of one of the most important departments of government, and
whose judgment in regard to its character or proper administration is
to be taken as gospel by the people where her reputation extends, is
not fit to be trusted to have her vote counted when the question
is who is to be the next person who is to be trusted with that
administration. Mrs. Leonard's mistake is not in misunderstanding the
nature either of woman or of man, which she understands perfectly; it
is in misunderstanding the nature of politics, that is, the political
arena; and this lady has been in the political arena for the last
ten years of her life, one of the most important and potent forces

It is true, as she says, that the wife and the mother educate the
child and the man, and when the great function of the state, as we
hold in our State and as is fast being held everywhere, is also the
education of the child and the man, how does it degrade that wife and
mother, whose important function it is to do this thing, to utter
her voice and have her vote counted in regard to the methods and the
policies by which that education shall be conducted?

Why, Mr. President, Mrs. Leonard says in that letter that woman, the
wife and the maiden and the daughter, has no political ends to serve.
If political ends be to desire office for the greed of gain, if
political ends be to get an unjust power over other men, if political
ends be to get political office by bribery or by mob violence or by
voting through the shutter of a beer-house, that is true: but the
persons who are in favor of this measure believe that those very
things that Mrs. Leonard holds up as the proper ends in the life of
women are political ends and nothing else; that the education of the
child, that the preservation of the purity of the home, that the care
for the insane and the idiot and the blind and the deaf and the ruined
and deserted, are not only political ends but are the chief political
ends for which this political body, the state, is created: and those
who desire the help of women in the administration of the state desire
it because of the ability which could write such a letter as that on
the wrong side, and because the qualities of heart and brain which God
has given to understand this class of political ends better than He
has given it to the masculine heart and brain are needed for their

I have no word of disrespect for Mrs. Leonard, but I say that, in
spite of herself and her letter, her life and her character are the
most abundant and ample refutation of the belief which she erroneously
thinks she entertains. Nobody invites these ladies to a contest of
bayonets; nobody who believes that government is a matter of mere
physical force asks the co-operation of woman in its administration.
It is because government is a conflict of such arguments as that
letter states on the one side, because the object of government is the
object to which this lady's own life is devoted, that the friends of
woman suffrage and of this amendment ask that it shall be adopted.

Mr. VEST. Mr. President, my great personal respect for the Senator
from Massachusetts has given me an interval of enforced silence, and I
have only to say that if I should print my desultory remarks I should
be compelled to omit his interruption for fear that the amendment
would be larger than the original bill. [Laughter.]

I fail to see that anything which has fallen from the distinguished
Senator has convicted Mrs. Clara Leonard of inconsistency or has added
anything to the argument upon his side of the question. I have
never said or intimated that there were women who were not credible
witnesses. I have never thought or intimated that there were not women
who were competent to administer the affairs of State or even to lead
armies. There have been such women, and I believe there will be to the
end of time, as there have been effeminate men who have been better
adapted to the distaff and the spindle than to the sword or to
statesmanship. But these are exceptions in either sex.

If this lady have, as she unquestionably has, the strength of
intellect conceded to her by the Senator from Massachusetts and
evidenced by her own production, her judgment of woman is worth that
of a continent of men. The best judge of any woman is a woman. The
poorest judge of any woman is a man. Let any woman with defect or flaw
go amongst a community of men and she will be a successful impostor.
Let her go amongst a community of women and in one instant the
instinct, the atmosphere circumambient, will tell her story.

Mrs. Leonard gives us the result of her opinion and of her experience
as to whether this right of suffrage should be conferred upon her
own sex. The Senator from Massachusetts speaks of her evidence in a
political campaign in Massachusetts and that her unaided and single
evidence crushed down the governor of that great State. I thank the
Senator for that statement. If Mrs. Leonard had been an office-holder
and a voter not a single township would have believed the truth of
what she uttered.

Mr. HOAR. She was an office-holder, and the governor tried to put her

Mr. VEST. Ah! but what sort of an office-holder? She held the office
delegated to her by God himself, a ministering angel to the sick, the
afflicted, and the insane. What man in his senses would take from
woman this sphere? What man would close to her the charitable
institutions and eleemosynary establishments of the country? That is
part of her kingdom; that is part of her undisputed sway and realm. Is
that the office to which woman suffragists of this country ask us now
to admit them? Is it to be the director of a hospital? Is it to the
presidency of a board of visitors of an eleemosynary institution? Oh,
no; they want to be Presidents, to be Senators, and Members of the
House of Representatives, and, God save the mark, ministerial and
executive officers, sheriffs, constables, and marshals.

Of course, this lady is found in this board of directors. Where else
should a true woman be found? Where else has she always been found but
by the fevered brow, the palsied hand, the erring intellect, ay, God
bless them, from the cradle to the grave the guide and support of the
faltering steps of childhood and the weakening steps of old age!

Oh, no, Mr. President; this will not do. If we are to tear down all
the blessed traditions, if we are to desolate our homes and firesides,
if we are to unsex our mothers and wives and sisters and turn our
blessed temples of domestic peace into ward political-assembly rooms,
pass this joint resolution. But for one I thank God that I am so
old-fashioned that I would not give one memory of my grandmother or my
mother for all the arguments that could be piled, Pelion upon Ossa, in
favor of this political monstrosity.

I now propose to read from a pamphlet sent to me by a lady whom I
am not able to characterize as a resident of any State, although I
believe she resides in the State of Maine. I do not know whether she
be wife or mother. She signs this pamphlet as Adeline D.T. Whitney. I
have read it twice, and read it to pure and gentle and intellectual
women. I say to-day it ought to be in every household in this broad
land. It ought to be the domestic gospel of every true, gentle,
loving, virtuous woman upon all this continent. There is not one line
or syllable in it that is not written in letters of gold. I shall not
read it, for my strength does not suffice, nor will the patience of
the Senate permit, but from beginning to end it breathes the womanly
sentiment which has made pure and great men and gentle and loving

I will venture to say, in my great admiration and respect for this
woman, whether she be married or single, she ought to be a wife, and
ought to be a mother. Such a woman could only have brave and wise men
for sons and pure and virtuous women for daughters. Here is her advice
to her sex. I am only sorry that every word of it could not be read in
the Senate, but I have trespassed too long.

Mr. COCKRELL. Let it be printed in your remarks.

Mr. VEST. I shall ask that it be printed. I will undertake, however,
to read only a few sentences, not of exceptional superiority to the
rest, because every sentence is equal to every other. There is not one
impure unintellectual aspiration or thought throughout the whole of
it. Would to God that I knew her, that I could thank her on behalf of
the society and politics of the United States for this production.

After all--

She says to her own sex--

    After all, men work for women; or, if they think they do not, it
    would leave them but sorry satisfaction to abandon them to such
    existence as they could arrange without us.

Oh, how true that is; how true!

In blessed homes, or in scattered dissipations of show, amusement, or
the worse which these shows and amusements are but terribly akin to,
women give purpose to and direct the results of all men's work. If
the false standards of living first urge them, until at length the
horrible intoxication of the game itself drives them on further and
deeper, are we less responsible for the last state of those men than
for the first?

Do you say, if good women refused these things and tried for a simpler
and truer living, there are plenty of bad ones who would take them
anyhow, and supply the motive to deeper and more unmitigated evil? Ah,
there come both answer and errand again. Raise the fallen--at
least, save the growing womanhood--stop the destruction that rushes
accelerating on, before you challenge new difficulty and danger with
an indiscriminate franchise. Are not these bad women the very "plenty"
that would out-balance you at the polls if you persist in trying the
"patch-and-plaster" remedy of suffrage and legislation.

Recognize the fact, the law, that your power, your high commission, is
inward, vital, formative and causal. Bring all questions of choice
or duty to this test; will it work at the heart of things, among the
realities and forces? Try your own life by this; remember that mere
external is falsehood and death. The letter killeth. Give up all that
is only of the appearance, or even chiefly so, in conscious
delight and motive--in person, surrounding, pursuit. Let your
self-presentation, your home-making and adorning, your social effort
and interest, your occupation and use of talent, all shape and issue
for the things that are essentially and integrally good, and that the
world needs to have prevail. Until you can do this, and induce such
doing, it is of little use to clamor for mere outward right or to
contend that it would be rightly applied.

This whole pamphlet is a magnificent illustration of that stupendous
and vital truth that the mission and sphere of woman is in the inward
life of man; that she must be the building up and governing power that
comes from those better impulses, those inward secrets of the heart
and sentiment that govern men to do all that is good and pure and holy
and keep them from all that is evil.

Mr. President, the emotions of women govern. What would be the result
of woman suffrage if applied to the large cities of this country is a
matter of speculation. What women have done in times of turbulence and
excitement in large cities in the past we know. Open that terrible
page of the French Revolution and the days of terror, when the click
of the guillotine and the rush of blood through the streets of Paris
demonstrated to what extremities the ferocity of human nature can be
driven by political passion. Who led those blood-thirsty mobs? Who
shrieked loudest in that hurricane of passion? Woman. Her picture upon
the pages of history to-day is indelible. In the city of Paris in
those ferocious mobs the controlling agency, nay, not agency, but the
controlling and principal power, came from those whom God has intended
to be the soft and gentle angels of mercy throughout the world. But I
have said more than I intended. I ask that this pamphlet be printed in
my remarks.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. If there be no objection, the pamphlet will be
printed in the RECORD as requested by the Senator from Missouri. The
Chair hears no objection.

The pamphlet is as follows:


    The external arguments on both sides the modern woman question
    have been pretty thoroughly presented and well argued. It seems
    needless to repeat or recombine them; but in one relation they
    have scarcely been handled with any direct purpose. Justice and
    expediency have been the points insisted on or contested; these
    have not gone back far enough; they have not touched the central
    fact, to set it forth in its force and finality. The fact is
    original and inherent, behind and at the root of the entire
    matter, with all its complication and circumstance. We have to ask
    a question to which it is the answer, and whose answer is that of
    the whole doubt and dispute.

    What is the law of woman-life?

    What was she made woman for, and not man?

    Shall we look back to that old third chapter of Genesis?

    When mankind had taken the knowledge and power of good and evil
    into their own hands through the mere earthly wisdom of the
    serpent; when the woman had had her hasty outside way and lead,
    according to the story, and woe had come of it, what was the
    sentence? And was it a penance, or a setting right, or a promise,
    or all three?

    The serpent was first dealt with. The narrow policy, the keen
    cunning, the little, immediate outlook, the expedient motive; all
    that was impersonated of temporary shift and outward prudence
    in mortal affairs, regardless of, or blind to, the everlasting
    issues; all, in short, that represented material and temporal
    interest as a rule and order--and is not man's external
    administration upon the earth largely forced to be a legislation
    upon these principles and economies?--was disposed of with the few
    words, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman."

    Was this punishment--as reflected upon the woman--or the power of
    a grand retrieval for her? Not to man, who had been led, and who
    would be led again, by the woman, was the commission of holy
    revenge intrusted; but henceforth, "I will set the woman against
    thee." Against the very principle and live prompting of evil, or
    of mere earthly purpose and motive. "Between thy seed and her
    seed." Your struggle with her shall be in and for the very life of
    the race. "It," her life brought forth, "shall bruise thy head,"
    thy whole power, and plan, and insidious cunning; "and thou shall
    bruise," shalt sting, torment, hinder, and trouble in the way
    and daily going, "his heel," his footstep. Thou, the subtle and
    creeping thing of the ground, shalt lurk after and threaten with
    crookedness and poison the ways of the men-children in their
    earth-toiling; the woman, the mother, shall turn upon thee for and
    in them and shall beat thee down!

    Unto the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and
    thy conception." The burden and the glory are set in one. The
    pain of the world shall be in your heart; the trouble, the
    contradiction of it, shall be against your love and insight. But
    your pain shall be your power; you shall be the life-bearer;
    you shall hold the motive; yours shall be the desire, and your
    husband's the dominion. Therefore shall you bring your aspiration
    to him, that he may fulfill it for you. "Your desire shall be unto
    him, and he shall rule."

    And unto Adam He said, "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice
    of thy wife"--yes, and because thou wilt hearken--"thy sorrow
    shall be in the labor of the earth; the ground shall be cursed;"
    in all material things shall be cross and trouble, not against
    you, but "for your sake." "In your sorrow you shall eat of it
    all the days of your life." Your need and struggle shall be with
    external things, and with the ruling of them. "For your sake,"
    that you may learn your mastery, inherit your true power, carry
    out with ease and understanding the desire and need of the race,
    which woman represents, discerns afar, and pleads to you.

    And Adam bowed before the Lord's judgment; we are not told that he
    answered anything to that; but he turned to his wife, and in that
    moment "called her name Eve, because she was the mother of all
    living." Then and there was the division made; and to which, can
    we say, was the empire given? Both were set in conditions, hemmed
    in to divine and special work: man, by the stress and sorrow of
    the ground; woman, by the stress and sorrow of her maternity, and
    of her spiritual conception, making her truly the "mother of all
    the living."

    At the beginning of human history, or tradition, then, we get
    the answer to our question: the law of woman-life is central,
    interior, and from the heart of things; the law of the man's life
    is circumferential, enfolding, shaping, bearing on and around,
    outwardly; wheel within wheel is the constitution of human power.
    It will be an evil day for the world when the nave shall leave its
    place and contend for that of the felloe. Iron-rimmed for its busy
    revolution and outward contact is the life and strength of man;
    but the tempered steel is at the heart and within the soul of the
    woman, that she may bear the silent pressure of the axle, and
    quietly and invisibly originate and support the entire onward
    movement. "The spirit of the living creature is in the wheels,"
    and they can move no otherwise. "When the living creatures went,
    the wheels went by them; and when the living creatures were lifted
    up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up." That was what
    Ezekiel saw in his vision.

    There can he no going forward without a life and presence and
    impulse at the center; and in the organization of humanity there
    is where the place and power of woman have been put. For good or
    for evil, for the serpent or for the redeeming Christ, she must
    move, must influence, must achieve beforehand, and at the heart;
    she must be the mother of the race; she must be the mother of the
    Messiah. Not woman in her own person, but "one born of woman," is
    the Saviour. For everything that is formed of the Creator, from
    the unorganized stone to the thought of righteousness in the heart
    of the race, there must be a matrix; in the creation and in the
    recreation of His human child God makes woman and the soul of
    woman His blessed organ and instrument. When woman clears herself
    of her own perversions, her self-imposed limitations, returns to
    her spiritual power and place, and cries, "Behold the handmaid of
    the Lord; be it unto me according to Thy word," then shall the
    spirit descend unto her; then shall come the redemption.

    Take this for the starting-point; it is the key.

    Within, behind, antecedent to all result in action, are the
    place and office of the woman--by the law of woman-life. And all
    question of her deed and duty should be brought to this test. Is
    it of her own, interior, natural relation, putting her at her true
    advantage, harmonious with the key to which her life is set? I
    think this suffrage question must settle itself precisely upon
    this ground-principle, and that all argument should range
    conclusively around it. Judging so, we should find, I think, that
    not at the polls, where the last utterance of a people's voice
    is given--where the results of character, and conscience, and
    intelligence are shown--is her best and rightful work: on the
    contrary, that it is useless here, unless first done elsewhere.
    But where little children learn to think and speak--where men love
    and listen, and the word is forming--is the office she has to
    fill, the errand she has to do. The question is, can she do both?
    Is there need that she should do both? Does not the former and
    greater include the latter and less?

    Hers are indeed the primary meetings: in her nursery, her home,
    and social circles; with other women, with young men, upon whose
    tone and character in her maturity her womanhood and motherhood
    join their beautiful and mighty influence; above all, among young
    girls--the "little women," to whom the ensign and commission are
    descending--is her undisputed power. Purify politics? Purify the
    sewers? But what if, first, the springs, and reservoirs, and
    conduits could be watched, guarded, filtered, and then the using
    be made clean and careful all through the homes; a better system
    devised and carried out for separating, neutralizing, destroying
    hurtful refuse? Then the poisonous gases might not be creeping
    back upon us through our enforced economies, our makeshifts and
    stop-gaps of outside legislation. For legislation is, after all,
    but cut-off, curb, and patch; an external, troublesome, partial,
    uncertain application of hindrance and remedy. What physician will
    work with lotion and plaster when he can touch, and control, and
    heal at the very seat of the disease?

    It is the beginning of the fulfillment that women have waked to
    the consciousness that they have not as yet filled their full
    place in human life and affairs. Only has not the mistake been
    made of contending with and grappling results, when causes were in
    their hands? Have they not let go the mainsprings to run after
    and effectually push with pins the refractory cogs upon the

    Woman always deserts herself when she puts her life and motive
    and influence in mere outsides. Outsides of fashion and place,
    outsides of charm and apparel, outsides of work and ambition--she
    must learn that these are not her true showing; she must go hack
    and put herself where God has called her to be with Himself, at
    the silent, holy inmost; then we shall feel, if not at once, yet
    surely soon or some time, a new order beginning. He, the Father
    of all, gives it to us to be the motherhood. That is the great
    solving and upraising word; not limited to mere parentage, but the
    law of woman-life. For good or for evil she mothers the world.

    Not all are called to motherhood in the literal sense, but all
    are called to the great, true motherhood in some of its manifold
    trusts and obligations. "_Noblesse oblige_;" you can not lay it
    down. "More are the children of the desolate than of her who hath
    a husband." All the little children that are born must look to
    womanhood somewhere for mothering. Do they all get it? All the
    works and policies of men look back somewhere for a true "desire"
    toward and by which only they can rule. Is the desire of the
    woman--of the home, the mother-motive of the world and human
    living--kept in the integrity and beauty for which it was
    intrusted to her, that it might move the power of man to noble

    Do you ask the governing of the nation? You have the making of
    the nation. Would you choose your statesmen? First make your

    Indeed the whole cause on trial may be summarily ended by the
    proving of an alibi, an elsewhere of demand. Is woman needed at
    the caucuses, conventions, polls? She is needed, at the same time,
    elsewhere. Two years of time and strength, of thought and love,
    from some woman, are essential for every little human being, that
    he may even begin a life. When you remember that every man is once
    a little child, born of a woman, trained--or needing training--at
    a woman's hands; that of the little men, every one of whom takes
    and shapes his life so, come at length the hand for the helm, the
    voice for the law, and the arm to enforce law--what do you want
    more for a woman's opportunity and control?

    Which would you choose as a force, an advantage, in settling
    any question of public moment, or as touching your own private
    interest through the general management--the right to go upon
    election day and cast one vote, or a hold beforehand upon the
    individual ear and attention of each voter now qualified? The
    ability to present to him your argument, to show him the real
    point at issue, to convince and persuade him of the right and
    lasting, instead of the weak and briefly politic way? This initial
    privilege is in the hands of woman; assuming that she can be
    brought to feel and act as a unit, which appears to be what is
    claimed for her in the argument for her regeneration of the outer
    political word.

    But already and separately, if every intelligent, conscientious
    woman can but reach one man, and influence him from the principle
    involved--from her interior perception of it, kept pure on purpose
    from bias and temptation that assail him in the outside mix and
    jostle--will she not have done her work without the casting of a
    ballot? And what becomes of "taxation without representation,"
    when, from Eden down, Eve can always plead with Adam, can have the
    first word instead of the last--if she knows what that first word
    is, in herself and thence in its power with him--can beguile him
    to his good instead of to his harm, as indeed she only meant to do
    in that first ignorant experiment? Would it be any less easy to
    qualify for and accomplish this than to convince and outnumber in
    public gathering not only bodies of men but the mass of women that
    will also have to be confronted and convinced or overborne?

    Preconceived opinions, minds made up, men not so easily beguiled
    to the pure good, you say? Woman quite as apt to make mistakes out
    of Paradise as in? That only returns us to the primal need and
    opportunity. Get the man to listen to you before his mind is made
    up--before his manhood is made up; while it is in the making. That
    is just the power and place that belong to you, and you must seize
    and fill. It is your natural right; God gave it to you. "The seed
    of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head."

    We can not do all in one day, and in such a day of the world as
    this. We plant trees for posterity where forests have been laid
    waste and the beautiful work of life is to be done over again; we
    can not expect to see our fruit in souls and in the nation at less
    cost of faith and time. Take care, then, of the little children:
    the men children, to make men of them; the women children--oh,
    yes, even above all--to make ready for future mothering--to snatch
    from the evil that works over against pure womanliness. Until you
    have done this let men fend for themselves in rough outsides a
    little longer; except, perhaps, as wise, able women whom the
    trying transition time calls forth may find fit way and place for
    effort and protest--there is always room for that, and noble work
    has been and is being done; but do not rear a new generation of
    women to expect and desire charges and responsibilities reversive
    of their own life-law, through whose perfect fulfillment alone may
    the future clean place be made for all to work in.

    Is there excess of female population? Can not all expect the
    direct rule of a home? Is not this exactly, perhaps, just now,
    for the more universal remedial mothering that in this age is the
    thing immediately needed? Let her who has no child seek where she
    can help the burdened mother of many; how she can best reach with
    influence, and wisdom, and cherishing, the greatest number--or
    most efficiently a few--of these dear, helpless, terrible little
    souls, who are to make, in a few years, a new social condition; a
    better and higher, happier and safer, or a lower, worse, bitterer,
    more desperately complicated and distressful one.

    "Desire earnestly the best gifts," said Saint Paul, after
    enumerating the gifts of teaching and prophecy and authority; "and
    I show you," he goes on, "a yet more excellent way." Charity--not
    mere alms, or toleration, or general benignity, out of a safe
    self-provision; but _caritas_--nearness, and caring, and
    loving,--the very essence of mothering; the way to and hold of
    the heart of it all, the heart of the life of humanity. "Keep thy
    heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."
    That is the first word; it charges womanhood itself, which must be
    set utterly right before it can take hold to right the world. Here
    are at once task and mission and rewarding sway.

    Woman has got off the track; she must see that first, and replace
    herself. We are mothering the world still; but we are mothering
    it, in a fearfully wide measure, all wrong.

    Sacrifice is the beginning of all redemption. We must give up. We
    must even give up the wish and seeming to have a hand in things,
    that we may work unseen in the elements, and make them fit and
    healthful; that daily bread and daily life may be sweet again
    in dear, old, homely ways, and plentiful with all truly blessed
    opportunities. We are not to organize the world, or to conquer it,
    or to queen it. We are just to take it again and mother it. If
    woman would begin that, search out the cradles--of life and
    character--and take care of the whole world of fifty years hence
    in taking care of them, calling upon men and the state, when
    needful, to authorize her action and furnish outward means for
    it--I wonder what might come, as earnest of good, even in this our
    day, in which we know not our visitation?

    And here again come allowance and exception for what women can
    always do when this world-mothering forces an appeal to the
    strength and authority of man. Women have never been prevented
    from doing their real errands in the world, even outside the
    domestic boundary. They have defended their husbands' castles in
    the old chivalrous times, when the male chivalry was away at the
    crusades. They have headed armies when Heaven called them; only
    Heaven never called all the women at once; but when the king was
    crowned, the mission done, they have turned back with desire to
    their sheltered, gentle, unobtrusive life again. There has no
    business to be a standing army of women; not even a standing
    political army. Women have navigated and brought home ships when
    commanders have died or been stricken helpless upon the ocean;
    they have done true, intelligent, patient work for science, art,
    religion; and those have done the most who have never stopped to
    contend first, whether a woman, as such, may do it or not.

    Look at what Dorothea Dix has done, single-handed, single-mouthed,
    in asylums and before legislatures. Women have sat on thrones, and
    governed kingdoms well, when that was the station in life to which
    God called them. If Victoria of England has been anything, she has
    been the mother of her land; she has been queen and protecting
    genius of its womanhood and homes. And when a woman does these
    things, as called of God--not talks of them, as to whether she may
    make claim to do them--she carries a weight from the very sanctity
    out of which she steps, as woman, that moves men unlike the moving
    of any other power. Shall she resign the chance of doing really
    great things, of meeting grand crises, by making herself common in
    ward-rooms and at street-corners, and abolishing the perfect idea
    of home by no longer consecrating herself to it?

    If individual woman, as has been said, may gain and influence
    individual man, and so the man-power in affairs--a body of women,
    purely as such, with cause, and plea, and reason, can always have
    the ear and attention of bodies of men; but to do this they must
    come straight from their home sanctities, as representing them--as
    able to represent them otherwise than men, because of their
    hearth-priestesshood; not as politicians, bred and hardened in the
    public arenas.

    That the family is the heart of the state, and that the state
    is but the widened family, is the fact which the old vestal
    consecration, power, and honor set forth and kept in mind.

    The voice which has of late been so generally conceded to women in
    town, decisions as regarding public schools, is an instance of the
    fittingness of relegating to them certain interests of which they
    should know more than men, because--applying the key-test with
    which we have started--it has direct relation to and springs from
    their motherhood. But can one help suggesting that if the movement
    had been to place women, merely and directly, upon the committees,
    by votes of men who saw that this work might be in great part best
    done by them; if women had asked and offered for the place without
    the jostle of the town-meeting, or putting in that wedge for
    the ballot--the thing might have been as readily done, and the
    objection, or political precedent, avoided.

    It is not the real opportunity, when that arises or shows itself
    in the line of her life-law, that is to be refused for woman. It
    is the taking from internal power to add to external complication
    of machinery and to the friction of strife. Let us just touch
    upon some of the current arguments concerning these external
    impositions which one set is demanding and the other entreating

    If voting is to be the chief power in woman's hands, or even a
    power of half the moment that is contended for it, it will grow to
    be the motive and end, the all-absorbing object, with women that
    it is with men.

    The gubernatorial canvass, the presidential year, these will
    interrupt and clog all home business, suspend decisions, paralyze
    plans, as they do with men, or else we shall not be much, as
    thorough politicians, after all. And if we talk of mending all
    that, of putting politics in their right place, and governing
    by pure principle instead of party trick, and stumping and
    electioneering, we go back in effect to the acknowledgment that
    only in the interior work, and behind politics, can women do
    better things at all; which, precisely, was to be demonstrated.

    Think, simply, of election day for women.

    Would it be so invariably easy a thing for a home-keeper to do,
    at the one opportunity of the year, or the four years, on a
    particular day, her duty in this matter? It is easy to say that it
    takes no more time than a hundred other things that some do; but
    setting apart all the argument that previous time and strength
    must have been spent in properly qualifying, how many of
    the hundred other things are done now without interruption,
    postponement, hindrance, through domestic contingencies? or are
    there a hundred other things done when the home contingencies are
    really met by a woman? A woman's life is not like a man's. That
    a man's life may be--that he may transact his out-door business;
    keep his hours and appointments; may cast his vote on election
    day; may represent wife and children in all wherein the community
    cares for, or might injure him and them--the woman, some woman,
    must be at the home post, that the home order may go on, from
    which he derives that command of time, and freedom from hindering
    necessities, which leave him to his work. And so, as the old
    proverb says, while man's work is from sun to sun--made definite,
    a matter to which he can go forth, and from which he can come
    in--a woman's work, of keeping the place of the forthgoing and
    incoming, is never done, from the very nature and ceaseless
    importance of it.

    Must she go to the polls, sick or well, baby or no baby, servant
    or no servant, strength or no strength, desire or no desire? If
    she have cook and housemaid they are to go also, and number her
    two to one, anyway; probably on election day, which they would
    make a holiday, they would--as at other crises, of birth,
    sickness, death, house-cleaning, which should occur in no
    first-class families--come down upon her with their appropriate
    _coup d'état_, and "leave;" making the State-stroke, in this
    instance, of scoring three votes, two dropped and one lost, for
    the irrepressible side.

    How will it be when Norah, and Maggie, and Katie have not only
    their mass and confession, their Fourth-of-July and Christmas,
    their mission-weeks, their social engagements and family plans,
    and their appointments with their dress-makers, to curtail your
    claims upon their bargained time and service, but their share in
    the primary meetings and caucuses, committees, and torch-light
    processions, and mass meetings? For what shall prevent the
    excitements, the pleasurings, the runnings hither and thither,
    that men delight in from following in the train of politics and
    parties with the common woman? Perhaps it may even be discovered,
    to the still further detriment of our already painfully hampered
    and perplexed domestic system, that the pursuit of fun, votes,
    offices, is more remunerative, as well as gentlewomanly--as
    Micawber might express it--than the cleansing of pots and pans,
    the weekly wash, or the watching of the roast. Perhaps in that
    enfranchised day there will be no Katies and Maggies' and the
    Norahs will know their place no more. Then the enlightened
    womanhood may have to begin at the foundation and glorify the
    kitchen again. And good enough for her, in the wide as well as
    primitive sense of the phrase, and a grand turn in the history
    that repeats itself toward the old, forgotten, peaceful side of
    the cycle it may be!

    But the argument does not rest upon any such points as these. It
    rests upon the inside nature of a woman's work; upon the need
    there is to begin again to-day at the heart of things and make
    that right; upon the evident fact that this can be done none too
    soon or earnestly, if the community and the country are not to
    keep on in the broad way to a threatened destruction; and upon the
    certainty that it can never be done unless it is done by woman,
    and with all of woman's might. Not by struggles for new and
    different place, but by the better, more loving, more intelligent,
    deep-seeing, and deep-feeling filling of her own place, that none
    will dispute and none can take from her. We are not where woman
    was in the old brutal days that are so often quoted; and we shall
    not, need not, return to that. Christianity has disposed of that
    sort of argument. We are on a vantage ground for the doing of our
    real, essential work better than it has been done ever before in
    the history of the world; and we are madly leaving our work and
    our vantage together.

    The great step made by woman was in the generation preceding this
    one of restlessness--the restlessness that has come through the
    first feeling of great power. It was made in the time when women
    learned physiology, that they might rear and nurse their families
    and help their neighborhoods understandingly; science, that they
    might teach and answer little children, and share the joy of
    knowledge that was spreading swiftly in the earth; political
    history and economy, that they might listen and talk to their
    brothers and husbands and sons, and leaven the life of the age as
    the bread in the mixing; business figures, rules, and principles,
    that they might sympathize, counsel, help, and prudentially work
    with and honestly strengthen the bread-winners. The good work was
    begun in the schools where girls were first told, as George B.
    Emerson used to tell us Boston girls, that we were learning
    everything he could teach us, in order to be women: wives,
    mothers, friends, social influencers, in the best and largest way
    possible. Women grew strong and capable under such instruction and
    motive. Are their daughters and grand-daughters about to leap
    the fence, leave their own realm little cared for--or doomed to
    be--undertake the whole scheme of outside creation, or contest
    it with the men? Then God help the men! God save the Commonwealth!

    We are past the point already where homes are suffering, or liable
    to suffer, neglect or injury; they are already left unmade. Shall
    this go on? Between frivolities and ambitions, between social
    vanities, and shows, and public meddling's and mixings--for where
    one woman is needed and doing really brave, true work, there are
    a hundred rushing forth for the mere sake of rushing--is the
    primitive home, the power of heaven upon earth to slip away from
    among us? Let us not build outsides which have no insides, let us
    not put a face upon things which has no reality behind it. Beware
    lest we make the confusion that we need the suffrage to help us
    unmake; lest we tear to pieces that we may patch again. Crazy
    patchwork that would be, indeed!

    Are women's votes required because men will not legislate away
    evils that they do not heartily wish away? Is government
    corrupted because men desire shield and opportunity for dishonest
    speculation; authority and countenance for nefarious combinations?
    The more need to go to work at the beginning rather than to plunge
    into the pitch and be defiled; more need to make haste and educate
    a better generation of men, if it be so we can not, except _vi et
    armis_, influence the generation that is. But do you think that if
    women are in earnest--enough in earnest to give up, as they seem
    to be to demand--they might not bring their real power to bear
    even upon these evil things, in their root and inception, and even
    now? Suppose women would not live in houses, or wear jewels and
    gowns, that are bought for them out of wicked millions made upon
    the stock exchange?

    Suppose they would stop decorating their dwellings to an agony,
    crowding them hurriedly with this and that of the last and newest,
    just because it is last and new, making a show and rivalry of
    what is not a true-grown beauty of a home at all, but a mere
    meretriciousness; suppose they would so set to work and change
    society that displays and feastings, which use up at every
    separate one a year's comfortable support for a quiet, modest
    family, should be given up as vulgarities; that people should care
    for, and be ready for, a true interchange of life and thought, and
    simple, uncrowded opportunities for these; suppose women would
    say, "No; I will not blaze at Newport, or run through Europe
    dropping American eagles or English sovereigns after me like the
    trail of a comet, or the crumbs that Hop-'o-my-thumb let fall from
    his pocket that the people at home might track the way he had
    gone; because if I have money, there is better work to be done
    with it; and I will not have the money that is made by gambling
    manipulations and cheats."

    Do you think this would have no influence? More than that, and
    further back, and lowlier down, suppose they should say, every
    one, "I will not have the new, convenient house, the fresh
    carpetings, the pretty curtains, or even the least, most fitting
    freshness, until I know the means are earned for me with honest
    service to the world, and by no lucky turn of even a small
    speculation." Further back yet, suppose them to declare, "I will
    not have the home at all, nor my own happiness, unless it can be
    based and builded on the kind of life-work that helps to make a
    real prosperity; that really goes to the building and safe-keeping
    of a whole nation of such homes." Would there be no power in
    that? Would it not be a kind of woman-suffrage to settle the very
    initials of all that ever bears upon the public question? And to
    bring that sort of woman on the stage, and to the front, is there
    not enough work to do, and enough "higher education" to insist on
    and secure?

    After all, men work for women; or, if they think they do not, it
    would leave them but sorry satisfaction to abandon them to such
    existence as they could arrange without us. In blessed homes, or
    in scattered dissipations of show, amusement, or the worse which
    these shows and amusements are but terribly akin to, women give
    purpose to and direct the results of all men's work. If the false
    standards of living first urge them, until at length the horrible
    intoxication of the game itself drives them on further and deeper,
    are we less responsible for the last state of those men than for
    the first?

    Do you say, if good women refused these things and tried for a
    simpler and truer living, there are plenty of bad ones who would
    take them anyhow, and supply the motive to deeper and more
    unmitigated evil? Ah, there come both answer and errand again.
    Raise the fallen--at least save the growing womanhood--stop the
    destruction that rushes accelerating on, before you challenge new
    difficulty and danger with an indiscriminate franchise. Are not
    these bad women the very "plenty" that would out-balance you at
    the polls, if you persist in trying the "patch-and-plaster" remedy
    of suffrage and legislation?

    Recognize the fact, the law, that your power, your high
    commission, is inward--vital--formative, and casual. Bring all
    questions of choice or duty to this test, will it work at the
    heart of things, among the realities and forces? Try your own life
    by this; remember that mere external is falsehood and death. The
    letter killeth. Give up all that is only of the appearance--or
    even chiefly so, in conscious delight and motive--in person,
    surrounding pursuit. Let your self-presentation, your home-making
    and adorning, your social effort and interest, your occupation
    and use of talent, all shape and issue for the things that are
    essentially and integrally good, and that the world needs to have
    prevail. Until you can do this, and induce such doing, it is of
    little use to clamor for mere outward right, or to contend that it
    would be rightly applied.

    Work as you will, and widely as you can, for schools, in
    associations, in everything whose end is to teach, enlighten,
    enlarge women, and so the world. Help and protect the industries
    of women; but keep those industries within the guiding law of
    woman-life. Do not throw down barriers that take down safeguards
    with them; that make threatening breaches in the very social
    structure. If women must serve in shops, demand and care for it
    that it shall be in a less mixed, a more shielded way than now.
    The great caravansaries of trade are perilous by their throng,
    publicity, and weariness. There used to be women's shops; choice
    places, where a woman's care and taste had ruled before the
    counters were spread; where women could quietly purchase things
    that were sure to be beautiful or of good service; there were not
    the tumult and ransacking that kill both shop-girl and shopper

    This is one instance, and but one, of the rescuing that ought
    to be attempted. There ought at least to be distinct women's
    departments, presided over by women of good, motherly tone and
    character, in the places of business which women so frequent, and
    where the thoughtful are aware of much that makes them tremble.
    And surely a great many of the girls and women who choose
    shop-work, because they like its excitement, ought rather to be in
    homes, rendering womanly service, and preparing to serve in homes
    of their own--leaving their present places to young men who might
    perhaps begin so to earn the homes to offer them. Will not this
    apply all the way up, into the arts and the professions even?
    There must needs be exceptional women perhaps; there are, and will
    be, time and errand and place for them; but Heaven forbid that
    they should all become exceptional.

    Once more, work for these things that are behind, and underlie;
    believing that woman's place is behind and within, not of
    repression, but of power; and that if she do not fill this place
    it will be empty; there will be no main spring. Meanwhile she will
    get her rights as she rises to them, and her defenses where she
    needs them; everything that helps, defends, uplifts the woman
    uplifts man and the whole fabric, and man has begun to find it
    out. If he "will give the suffrage if women want it," as is said,
    why shall he not as well give them the things that they want
    suffrage for and that they are capable of representing? Believe
    me, this work, and the representation which grows out of it,
    can no longer be done if we attempt the handling of political
    machinery--the making of platforms, the judging of candidates, the
    measuring and disputation of party plans and issues, and all the
    tortuous following up of public and personal political history.

    Do you say, men have their individual work in the world, and all
    this beside and of it, and that therefore we may? Exactly here
    comes in again the law of the interior. Their work is "of
    it"--falls in the way. They rub against it as they go along. Men
    meet each other in the business thoroughfares, at the offices and
    the street corners; we are in the dear depths of home. We are with
    the little ones, of whom is not this kingdom, but the kingdom of
    heaven, which we, through them, may help to come. This is just
    where we must abandon our work, if we attempt the doing of theirs.
    And here is where our prestige will desert us, whenever great
    cause calls us to speak from out our seclusions, and show men,
    from our insights and our place, the occasion and desire that look
    unto their rule. They will not listen then; they will remand us to
    the ballot-box.

    "Inside politics" is a good word. That is just where woman ought
    to be, as she ought to be inside everything, insisting upon and
    implanting the truth and right that are to conquer. And she can
    not be inside and outside both. She can not do the mothering
    and the home-making, the watching and ministry, the earning and
    maintaining hold and privilege and motive influence behind and
    through the acts of men--and all the world-wide execution of act
    beside. Therefore, we say, do not give up the substance which you
    might seize, for the shadow which you could not hold fast if you
    were to seem to grasp it. Work on at the foundations. Insist on
    truth and right; put them into all your own life, taking all the
    beam out of your own eye before demanding--well, we will say the
    mote, for generosity's sake, and for the holy authority of the
    word--out of the brother's eyes.

    Establish pure, honest, lovely things--things of good report--in
    the nurseries, the schools, the social circles where you reign,
    and the outside world and issue will take form and heed for
    themselves. The nation, of which the family is the root, will be
    made, and built, and saved accordingly. Every seed hath its own
    body. The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent-head of
    evil, and shall rise triumphant to become the ennobled, recreated
    commonwealth. Then shall pour forth the double paean that thrills
    through the glorious final chorus of Schumann's Faust--men and
    women answering in antiphons--

      "The indescribable,
        Here it is done;
      The ever-womanly
        Beckons us on!"

    Then shall Mary--the fulfilled, ennobled womanhood--sing her
    Magnificat; standing to receive from the Lord, and to give the
    living word to the nations:

      "My soul doth magnify the Lord,
      And my spirit hath rejoiced in God, my Saviour.
      For He hath looked upon the low estate of His handmaiden;
      For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed,
      For He that is mighty hath done to me great things;
      And holy is His name.
      And His mercy is unto generations and generations."

    The coming new version of the Old Testament gives us, we are told,
    among other more perfect renderings, this one, which fitly utters
    charge and promise:

      "The Lord gave the word;
      Great was the company
        Of those
      That published it."

      "The Lord giveth the word;
      And the women that bring
        Glad tidings
      Are a great host."


Mr. BLAIR. Mr. President, before the vote is taken I desire to say but
a word. Early in the session I had the opportunity of addressing the
Senate upon the general merits of the question. I said then all that I
cared to say; but I wish to remind the Senate before the vote is taken
that the question to be decided is not whether upon the whole the
suffrage should be extended to women, but whether in the proper arena
for the amendment of the Constitution ordained by the Constitution
itself one-third of the American people shall have the opportunity to
be heard in the discussion of such a proposed amendment--whether they
shall have the opportunity of the exercise of the first right of
republican government and of the American and of any free citizen,
the submission to the popular tribunal, which has alone the power to
decide the question whether on the whole, upon a comparison of the
arguments pro and con bearing one way and the other upon this great
subject, the American people will extend the suffrage to those who are
now deprived of it.

That is the real question for the Senate to consider. It is not
whether the Senate would, itself, extend the suffrage to women, but
whether those men who believe that women should have the suffrage
shall be heard, so that there may be a decision and an end made of
this great subject, which has now been under discussion more than
a quarter of a century, and to-day for the first time even in the
legislative body which is to submit the proposition to the country for
consideration has there been a prospect of reaching a vote.

I appeal to Senators not to decide this question upon the arguments
which have been offered here to-day for or against the merits of the
proposition. I appeal to them to decide this question upon that other
principle to which I have adverted, whether one-third of the American
people shall be permitted to go into the arena of public discussion
of the States, among the people of the States, and before the
Legislatures of the States, and be heard upon the issue, shall
the general Constitution be so amended as to extend this right of
suffrage? If, with this opportunity, those who believe in woman
suffrage fail, they must be content; for I agree with the Senators
upon the opposite side of the Chamber and with all who hold that if
the suffrage is to be extended at all, it must be extended by the
operation of existing law. I believe it to be an innate right; yet an
innate right must be exercised only by the consent of the controling
forces of the State. That is all that woman asks. That is all that any
one asks who believes in this right belonging to her sex.

As bearing simply upon the question whether there is a demand by a
respectable number of people to be heard on this issue, I desire
to read one or two documents in my possession. I offer in this
connection, in addition to the innumerable petitions which have been
placed before the Senate and before the other House, the petition of
the Women's Christian Temperance Union. I take it that no Senator will
raise the question whether this organization be or be not composed
of the very _élite_ of the women of America. At least two hundred
thousand of the Christian women of this country are represented in
this organization. It is national in its character and scope; it is
international, and it exists in every State and in every Territory of
the Union. By their officers, Miss Frances E. Willard, the president;
Mrs. Caroline B. Buell, corresponding secretary; Mrs. Mary A.
Woodbridge, recording secretary; Mrs. L.M.N. Stevens, assistant
recording secretary; Miss Esther Pugh, treasurer; Mrs. Zerelda G.
Wallace, superintendent of department of franchise, and Mrs. Henrietta
B. Wall, secretary of department of franchise, they bring this
petition to the Senate. It has been indorsed by the action of the body
at large. They say:

    Believing that governments can be just only when deriving their
    powers from the consent of the governed, and that in a government
    professing to be a government of the people, all the people of a
    mature age should have a voice, and that all class-legislation and
    unjust discrimination against the rights and privileges of any
    citizen is fraught with danger to the republic, and inasmuch as
    the ballot in popular governments is a most potent element in all
    moral and social reforms:

    We, therefore, on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Christian
    women engaged in philanthropic effort, pray you to use your
    influence, and vote for the passage of a sixteenth amendment
    to the Constitution of the United States, prohibiting the
    disfranchisement of any citizen on the ground of sex.

I have also just received, in addition to other matter before the
Senate, the petition of the Indianapolis Suffrage Association, or of
that department of the Women's Christian Temperance Union which has
the control of the discussion and management of the operations of the
union with reference to the suffrage. I shall not take the time of the
Senate to read it. The letter transmitting the petition is as follows:

    INDIANAPOLIS, IND., _January_ 12, 1886.

    DEAR SIR: I have sent the inclosed petitions and arguments to
    every member on the Committee on Woman Suffrage, hoping if they
    are read they may have some influence in securing a favorable
    report for the passage of a sixteenth amendment, giving the ballot
    to women.

    Will you urge upon the members of the committee the importance of
    their perusal?


    MRS. Z.G. WALLACE, _Sup't Dep't for Franchise of N.W.C.T.U._

    Hon. H.W. BLAIR.

I will add in this connection a letter lately received by myself,
written by a lady who may not be so distinguished in the annals of the
country, yet, at the same time, she has attained to such a position in
the society where she lives that she holds the office of postmaster by
the sanction of the Government, and has held it for many years. She
seems, as other ladies have seemed, to possess the capacity to perform
the duties of this governmental office, so far as I know, to universal
satisfaction. At all events, it is the truth that no woman, so far as
I have ever heard, holding the office of postmaster, and no woman who
has ever held the position of clerk under the Government, or who has
ever discharged in State or in Nation any executive or administrative
function, has as yet been a defaulter, or been guilty of any
misconduct or malversation in office, or contributed anything by her
own conduct to the disgrace of the appointing or creating official
power. This woman says:

    NEW LONDON, WIS., _January 18, 1887_.

    Hon. H.W. BLAIR, _Washington, D.C._:

    DEAR SIR: Thank you for the address you sent; also for your
    kindness in remembering us poor mortals who can scarcely get a
    hearing in such an august body as the Senate of these United
    States, though I have reason to believe we furnished the men to
    fill those seats.

    There is something supremely ridiculous in the attitude of a man
    who tells you women are angelic in their nature; that it is his
    veneration for the high and lofty position they occupy which hopes
    to keep them forever from the dirty vortex of politics, and then
    to see him glower at her because she wishes politics were not so
    dirty, and believes the mother element, by all that makes humanity
    to her doubly sacred, is just what is needed for its purification.

    We have become tired of hearing and reiterating the same old
    theories and are pleased that you branched out in a new direction,
    and your argument contains so much which is new and fresh.

    We do care for this inestimable boon which one-half the people of
    this Republic have seized, and are claiming that God gave it to
    them and are working very zealously to help God keep it for them.
    (We will remember the Joshua who leads us out of bondage.)

    I used to think the Prohibition party would be our Moses, but that
    has only gone so far as to say, "You boost us upon a high and
    mighty pedestal, and when we see our way clear to pull you after
    us we will venture to do so; but you can not expect it while we
    run any risk of becoming unpopular thereby."

    Liberty stands a goddess upon the very dome of our Capitol,
    Liberty's lamp shines far out into the darkness, a beacon to the
    oppressed, a dazzling ray of hope to serf and bondsmen of other
    climes, yet here a sword unforbidden is piercing the heart of the
    mother whose son believes God has made us to differ so that he can
    go astray and return. But, alas, he does not return.

    Help us to stand upon the same political footing with our brother;
    this will open both his and our eyes and compel him to stand upon
    the same moral footing with us. Only this can usher in millenium's

This letter is signed, by Hannah E. Patchin, postmaster at New London,

As bearing upon the extent of this agitation, I have many other
letters of the same character and numerous arguments by women upon
this subject, but I can not ask the attention of the Senate to them,
for what I most of all want is a vote. I desire a record upon this
question. However, I ought to read this letter, which is dated Salina,
Kans., December 13, 1886. The writer is Mrs. Laura M. Johns. She is
connected with the suffrage movement in that State, and as bearing
upon the extent of this movement and as illustrative not only of the
condition of the question in Kansas, but very largely throughout the
country, perhaps, especially throughout the northern part of the
country, I read this and leave others of like character, as they are,
because we have not the time:

    I am deeply interested in the fate of the now pending resolution
    proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States,
    conferring upon women the exercise of the suffrage. The right is
    theirs now.

    I see, in speaking to that resolution on December 8 in the Senate,
    that you refer to Miss Anthony's experiences in the October
    campaign in Kansas as evidence in part of the growth of interest
    in this movement, and of sentiment favorable to it, and I am
    writing now just to tell you about it.

    When I planned and arranged for those eleven conventions in eleven
    fine cities of this State, I thought I knew that the people of
    Kansas felt a strong interest in the question of woman suffrage;
    but when with Miss Anthony and others I saw immense audiences
    of Kansas people receive the gospel of equal suffrage with
    enthusiasm, saw them sitting uncomfortably crowded, or standing to
    listen for hours to arguments in favor of suffrage for women: saw
    the organization of strong and ably officered local, county, and
    district associations of the best and "brainiest" men and women in
    our first cities for the perpetuation of woman suffrage teachings;
    saw people of the highest social, professional, and business
    position give time, money and influence, to this cause; saw
    Miss Anthony's life work honored and her fêted and most highly
    commended, I concluded that I had before known but half of the
    interest and favorable sentiment in Kansas on this question. These
    meetings were very largely attended, and by all classes, and
    by people of all shades of religious and political belief. The
    representative people of the labor party were there, ministers,
    lawyers, all professions, and all trades.

    No audiences could have been more thoroughly representative of
    the people; and as we held one (and more) convention in each
    Congressional district in the State, we certainly had, from the
    votes of those audiences in eleven cities, a truthful expression
    of the feeling of the people of the State of Kansas on this
    question. Many of the friends of the cause here are very willing
    to risk our fate to the popular vote.

    In our conventions Miss Anthony was in the habit of putting the
    following questions to vote:

    "Are you in favor of equal suffrage for women?"

    "Do you desire that your Senators, INGALLS and PLUMB, and your
    seven Congressmen shall vote for the sixteenth amendment to the
    Federal Constitution?" and

    "Do you desire your Legislature to extend municipal suffrage to

    In response there always came a rousing "yes," except when the
    vote was a rising one, and then the house rose in a solid body.
    Miss Anthony's call for the negative vote was answered by silence.

    Petitions for municipal suffrage in Kansas are rolling up
    enormously. People sign them now who refused to do so last year. I
    tell you it is catching. Many people here are disgusted with our
    asking for such a modicum as municipal suffrage, and say they
    would rather sign a petition asking for the submission of an
    amendment to our State constitution giving us State suffrage. We
    have speakers now at work all over the State, their audiences and
    reception are enthusiastic, and their most radical utterances in
    favor of woman are the most kindly received and gain them the most

And further to the same effect. I shall offer nothing more of that
kind, but I have come in possession of some data bearing upon the
question of the intellect of woman. The real objection seems to me
to he that she does not know enough to vote; that it is the ignorant
ballot that is dangerous; but that is a subject which of course I have
no time to go into. However, I have some data collected very recently,
and at my request, by a most intelligent gentleman of the State of
Maine. Either of the Senators from that State will bear witness as to
the high character of this gentleman, Mr. Jordan. He sent the data to
me a few days ago. They show the relative standing of the two sexes in
the high schools in the State of Maine where they are being educated
together, and in one of the colleges of that State:

    _High school No_. 1.--Average rank on scale of 100.--1882: boys
    88.7, girls 91; 1883: boys 88.2, girls 91.3; 1884: boys 88.8,
    girls 91.9 (of the graduating class 7 girls and 1 boy were the
    eight highest in rank for the four years' course); 1885: boys
    88.6, girls 91.4 (eight highest in rank for four years' course,
    4 boys and 4 girls); 1886: boys 88.2, girls 91 (eight highest in
    rank for four years' course, 7 girls and I boy).

    _High school No_. 2.--Average rank on scale of 100.--1886: boys
    90, girls 98 (six highest in rank for four years' course, 6

    _College_.--Average rank for fall term of the junior year on the
    scale of 40.--1882: boys 37.75, girls 37.93; 1883: boys 38.03,
    girls 38.70; 1884: boys 38.18, girls 88.59; 1885; boys 38.33,
    girls 38.13.

With only this last exception the average of the girls and young
ladies in the high schools and at this institution of liberal training
is substantially higher than that of the boys. I simply give that fact
in passing, and there leave the matter.

I desire in closing simply to call for the reading of the joint
resolution. I could say nothing to quicken the sense of the Senate on
the importance of the question about to be taken. It concerns one-half
of our countrymen, one-half of the citizens of the United States, but
it is more than that, Mr. President. This question is radical, and it
concerns the condition of the whole human race. I believe that in the
agitation of this question lies the fate of republican government, and
in that of republican government lies the fate of mankind. I ask for
the reading of the joint resolution.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The joint resolution is before the Senate as in
Committee of the Whole. It has been read. Does the Senator desire to
have it read again?

Mr. BLAIR. Has it been read this afternoon?


Mr. BLAIR. That is all then. Now, I wish to have printed in the
RECORD, by reason of the printed matter that has gone into the RECORD
upon the other side, the arguments of Miss Anthony and her associates
before the Senate committee, which is out of print as a document.
These arguments are very terse and brief. I think it only just that
woman, who is most interested, should be heard, at least under the
circumstances when she has herself been heard on the other side
through printed matter. It will not be burdensome to the RECORD, and I
ask that this be done.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair hears no objection to the suggestion.
The document will be printed in the RECORD.

The document is as follows:


    By a committee of the Sixteenth Annual Washington Convention of
    the National Woman Suffrage Association, in favor of a sixteenth
    amendment to the Constitution of the United States, that shall
    protect the right of women citizens to vote in the several States
    of the Union.

    _Order of proceeding_.

    The CHAIRMAN (Senator COCKRELL). We have allotted the time to be
    divided as the speakers may desire among themselves. We are now
    ready to hear the ladies.

    Miss SUSAN B. ANTHONY. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the select
    committee: This is the sixteenth time that we have come before
    Congress in person, and the nineteenth annually by petitions. Ever
    since the war, from the winter of 1865-'66, we have regularly sent
    up petitions asking for the national protection of the citizen's
    right to vote when the citizen happens to be a woman. We are here
    again for the same purpose. I do not propose to speak now, but to
    introduce the other speakers, and at the close perhaps will state
    to the committee the reasons why we come to Congress. The other
    speakers will give their thought from the standpoint of their
    respective States. I will first introduce to the committee Mrs.
    Harriet R. Shattuck, of Boston, Mass.


    Mrs. SHATTUCK. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen: It seems as if it were
    almost unnecessary for us to come here at this meeting, because I
    feel that all we have to say and all we have to claim is known to
    you, and we can not add anything to what has been said in the past
    sixteen years.

    But I should like to say one thing, and that is, that in my work
    it has seemed that if we could convince everybody of the motives
    of the suffragists we would go far toward removing prejudices. I
    know that those motives are very much misunderstood. Persons think
    of us as ambitious women, who are desirous for fame, and who
    merely come forward to make speeches and get before the public, or
    else they think that we are unfortunate beings with no homes, or
    unhappy wives, who are getting our livelihood in this sort of way.
    If we could convince every man who has a vote in this Republic
    that this is not the case, I believe we could go far toward
    removing the prejudice against us. If we could make them see that
    we are working here merely because we know that the cause is
    right, and we feel that we must work for it, that there is a power
    outside of ourselves which impels us onward, which says to us:
    go forward and speak to the people and try to bring them up to a
    sense of their duty and of our right. This is the belief that I
    have in regard to our position on this question. It is a matter of
    duty with us, and that is all.

    In Massachusetts I represent a very much larger number of women
    than is supposed. It has always been said that very few women wish
    to vote. Believing that this objection, although it has nothing to
    do with the rights of the cause, ought to be met, the association
    of which I am president inaugurated last year a sort of canvass,
    which I believe never had been attempted before, whereby we
    obtained the proportion of women in favor and opposed to suffrage
    in different localities of our State. We took four localities in
    the city of Boston, two in smaller cities, and two in the country
    districts, and one also of school teachers in nine schools of one
    town. Those school teachers were unanimously in favor of suffrage,
    and in the nine localities we found that the proportion of women
    in favor was very large as against those opposed. The total of
    women canvassed was 814. Those in favor were 405; those opposed,
    44; indifferent, 166; refused to sign, 160; not seen, 39. This,
    you see, is a very large proportion in favor. Those indifferent,
    and those who were not seen, were not included, because we claim
    that nobody can yet say that they are opposed or in favor until
    they declare themselves; but the 405 in favor against the 44
    opposed were as 9 to 1. These canvasses were made by women who
    were of perfect respectability and responsibility, and they swore
    before a justice of the peace as to the truth of their statements.

    So we have in Massachusetts this reliable canvass of the number of
    women in favor as to those opposed, and we find that it is 9 to 1.

    These women, then, are the class whom I represent here, and they
    are women who can not come here themselves. Very few women in the
    country can come here and do this work, or do the work in their
    States, because they are in their homes attending to their duties,
    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
    how it was in his own State of Ohio. Everybody knows that if my
    friends, Mrs. ex-Governor Wallace, Mrs. Allen, and all the women
    of the great West could have gone to the ballot-box at those
    municipal elections and voted for candidates, no such result would
    have occurred; while you refused by the laws of the State to the
    women the right to have their opinions counted, every rumseller,
    every drunkard, every pauper even from the poor-house, and every
    criminal outside of the State's prison came out on election day to
    express his opinion and have it counted.

    The next result of that political event was that the ring demanded
    new legislation to protect the whisky traffic everywhere. In my
    city the women did not crusade the streets, but they said they
    would help the men to execute the law. They held meetings, sent
    out committees, and had testimony secured against every man who
    had violated the law, and when the board of excise held its
    meeting those women assembled, three or four hundred, in the
    church one morning, and marched in a solid body to the common
    council chamber where the board of excise was sitting. As one
    rum-seller after another brought in his petition for a renewal
    of license who had violated the law, those women presented the
    testimony against him. The law of the State of New York is that no
    man shall have a renewal who has violated the law. But in not one
    case did that board refuse to grant a renewal of license because
    of the testimony which those women presented, and at the close of
    the sitting it was found that twelve hundred more licenses had
    been granted than ever before in the history of the State. Then
    the defeated women said they would have those men punished
    according to law.

    Again they retained an attorney and appointed committees to
    investigate all over the city. They got the proper officer to
    prosecute every rum-seller. I was at their meeting. One woman
    reported that the officer in every city refused to prosecute the
    liquor dealer who had violated the law. Why? Because if he should
    do so he would lose the votes of all the employés of certain shops
    on that street, if another he would lose the votes of the railroad
    employés, and if another he would lose the German vote, if another
    the Irish vote, and so on. I said to those women what I say to
    you, and what I know to be true to-day, that if the women of the
    city of Rochester had held the power of the ballot in their hands
    they would have been a great political balance of power.

    The last report was from District Attorney Raines. The women
    complained of a certain lager-beer-garden keeper. Said the
    district attorney, "Ladies, you are right, this man is violating
    the law, everybody knows it, but if I should prosecute him I would
    lose the entire German vote." Said I, "Ladies, do you not see
    that if the women of the city of Rochester had the right to vote
    District Attorney Raines would have been compelled to have stopped
    and counted, weighed and measured. He would have said, 'If I
    prosecute that lager-beer German I shall lose the 5,000 German
    votes of this city, but if I fail to prosecute him and execute the
    laws I shall lose the votes of 20,000 women.'"

    Do you not see, gentlemen, that so long as you put this power of
    the ballot in the hands of every possible man, rich, poor, drunk,
    sober, educated, ignorant, outside of the State's prison, to make
    and unmake, not only every law and law-maker, but every office
    holder who has to do with the executing of the law, and take the
    power from the hands of the women of the nation, the mothers, you
    put the long arm of the lever, as we call it in mechanics, in
    the hands of the whisky power and make it utterly impossible for
    regulation of sobriety to be maintained in our community? The
    first step towards social regulation and good society in towns,
    cities, and villages is the ballot in the hands of the mothers of
    those places. I appeal to you especially in this matter, I do not
    know what you think about the proper sphere of women.

    It matters little what any of us think about it. We shall each and
    every individual find our own proper sphere if we are left to
    act in freedom; but my opinion is that when the whole arena of
    politics and government is thrown open to women they will endeavor
    to do very much as they do in their homes; that the men will look
    after the greenback theory or the hard-money theory, that you will
    look after free-trade or tariff, and the women will do the home
    housekeeping of the government, which is to take care of the moral
    government and the social regulation of our home department.

    It seems to me that we have the power of government outside to
    shape and control circumstances, but that the inside power, the
    government housekeeping, is powerless, and is compelled to accept
    whatever conditions or circumstances shall be granted.

    Therefore I do not ask for liquor suffrage alone, nor for school
    suffrage alone, because that would amount to nothing. We must be
    able to have a voice in the election not only of every law-maker,
    but of every one who has to do either with the making or the
    executing of the laws.

    Then you ask why we do not get suffrage by the popular-vote
    method, State by State? I answer, because there is no reason why
    I, for instance, should desire the women of one State of this
    nation to vote any more than the women of another State. I have
    no more interest as regards the women of New York than I
    as regards the women of Indiana, Iowa, or any of the States
    represented by the women who have come up here. The reason why I
    do not wish to get this right by what you call the popular-vote
    method, the State vote, is because I believe there is a United
    States citizenship. I believe that this is a nation, and to be a
    citizen of this nation should be a guaranty to every citizen of
    the right to a voice in the Government, and should give to me
    my right to express my opinion. You deny to me my liberty, my
    freedom, if you say that I shall have no voice whatever in making,
    shaping, or controlling the conditions of society in which I live.
    I differ from Judge Hunt, and I hope I am respectful when I say
    that I think he made a very funny mistake when he said that
    fundamental rights belong to the States and only surface rights to
    the National Government. I hope you will agree with me that the
    fundamental right of citizenship, the right to voice in the
    Government, is a national right.

    The National Government may concede to the States the right to
    decide by a majority as to what banks they shall have, what
    laws they shall enact with regard to insurance, with regard to
    property, and any other question; but I insist upon it that the
    National Government should not leave it a question with the States
    that a majority in any State may disfranchise the minority under
    any circumstances whatsoever. The franchise to you men is not
    secure. You hold it to-day, to be sure, by the common consent of
    white men, but if at any time, on your principle of government,
    the majority of any of the States should choose to amend the State
    constitution so as to disfranchise this or that portion of the
    white men by making this or that condition, by all the decisions
    of the Supreme Court and by the legislation thus far there is
    nothing to hinder them.

    Therefore the women demand a sixteenth amendment to bring to women
    the right to vote, or if you please to confer upon women their
    right to vote, to protect them in it, and to secure men in their
    right, because you are not secure.

    I would let the States act upon almost every other question by
    majorities, except the power to say whether my opinion shall
    be counted. I insist upon it that no State shall decide that

    Then the popular-vote method is an impracticable thing. We tried
    to get negro suffrage by the popular vote, as you will remember.
    Senator Thurman will remember that in Ohio the Republicans
    submitted the question in 1867, and with all the prestige of the
    national Republican party and of the State party, when every
    influence that could be brought by the power and the patronage of
    the party in power was brought to bear, yet negro suffrage ran
    behind the regular Republican ticket 40,000.

    It was tried in Kansas, it was tried in New York, and everywhere
    that it was submitted the question was voted down overwhelmingly.
    Just so we tried to get women suffrage by the popular-vote method
    in Kansas in 1867, in Michigan in 1874, in Colorado in 1877, and
    in each case the result was precisely the same, the ratio of the
    vote standing one-third for women suffrage and two-thirds against
    women suffrage. If we were to canvass State after State we should
    get no better vote than that. Why? Because the question of the
    enfranchisement of women is a question of government, a question
    of philosophy, of understanding, of great fundamental principle,
    and the masses of the hard-working people of this nation, men and
    women, do not think upon principles. They can only think on the
    one eternal struggle wherewithal to be fed, to be clothed, and to
    be sheltered. Therefore I ask you not to compel us to have this
    question settled by what you term the popular-vote method.

    Let me illustrate by Colorado, the most recent State, in the
    election of 1877. I am happy to say to you that I have canvassed
    three States for this question. If Senator Chandler were alive,
    or if Senator Ferry were in this room, they would remember that I
    followed in their train in Michigan, with larger audiences than
    either of those Senators throughout the whole canvass. I want to
    say, too, that although those Senators may have believed in woman
    suffrage, they did not say much about it. They did not help us
    much. The Greenback movement was quite popular in Michigan at that
    time. The Republicans and Greenbackers made a most humble bow
    to the grangers, but woman suffrage did not get much help. In
    Colorado, at the close of the canvass, 6,666 men voted "Yes."
    Now I am going to describe the men who voted "Yes." They were
    native-born white men, temperance men, cultivated, broad,
    generous, just men, men who think. On the other hand, 16,007 voted

    Now I am going to describe that class of voters. In the southern
    part of that State there are Mexicans, who speak the Spanish
    language. They put their wheat in circles on the ground with
    the heads out, and drive a mule around to thrash it. The vast
    population of Colorado is made up of that class of people. I was
    sent out to speak in a voting precinct having 200 voters; 150
    of those voters were Mexican greasers, 40 of them foreign-born
    citizens, and just 10 of them were born in this country; and I was
    supposed to be competent to convert those men to let me have as
    much right in this Government as they had, when, unfortunately,
    the great majority of them could not understand a word that I
    said. Fifty or sixty Mexican greasers stood against the wall with
    their hats down over their faces. The Germans put seats in a
    lager-beer saloon, and would not attend unless I made a speech
    there; so I had a small audience.

    MRS. ARCHIBALD. There is one circumstance that I should like to
    relate. In the county of Las Animas, a county where there is a
    large population of Mexicans, and where they always have a large
    majority over the native population, they do not know our language
    at all. Consequently a number of tickets must be printed for those
    people in Spanish. The gentleman in our little town of Trinidad
    who had the charge of the printing of those tickets, being adverse
    to us, had every ticket printed against woman suffrage. The
    samples that were sent to us from Denver were "for" or "against,"
    but the tickets that were printed only had the word "against" on
    them, so that our friends had to scratch their tickets, and all
    those Mexican people who could not understand this trick and did
    not know the facts of the case, voted against woman suffrage; so
    that we lost a great many votes. This was man's generosity.

    MISS ANTHONY. Special legislation for the benefit of woman! I will
    admit you that on the floor of the constitutional convention was a
    representative Mexican, intelligent, cultivated, chairman of the
    committee on suffrage, who signed the petition, and was the first
    to speak in favor of woman suffrage. Then they have in Denver
    about four hundred negroes. Governor Routt said to me, "The
    four hundred Denver negroes are going to vote solid for woman
    suffrage." I said, "I do not know much about the Denver negroes,
    but I know certainly what all negroes were educated in, and
    slavery never educated master or negro into a comprehension, of
    the great principles of human freedom of our nation; it is not
    possible, and I do not believe they are going to vote for us."
    Just ten of those Denver negroes voted for woman suffrage. Then,
    in all the mines of Colorado the vast majority of the wage
    laborers, as you know, are foreigners.

    There may be intelligent foreigners in this country, and I know
    there are, who are in favor of the enfranchisement of woman, but
    that one does not happen to be Carl Schurz, I am ashamed to say.
    And I want to say to you of Carl Schurz, that side by side with
    that man on the battlefield of Germany was Madame Anneke, as noble
    a woman as ever trod the American soil. She rode by the side of
    her husband, who was an officer, on the battlefield; she slept in
    battlefield tents, and she fled from Germany to this country, for
    her life and property, side by side with Carl Schurz. Now, what is
    it for Carl Schurz, stepping up to the very door of the Presidency
    and looking back to Madame Anneke, who fought for liberty as
    well as he, to say, "You be subject in this Republic; I will be
    sovereign." If it is an insult for Carl Schurz to say that to
    a foreign-born woman, what is it for him to say it to Mrs.
    Ex-Governor Wallace, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott--to the
    native-born, educated, tax-paying women of this Republic? I can
    forgive an ignorant foreigner; I can forgive an ignorant negro;
    but I can not forgive Carl Schurz.

    Right in the file of the foreigners opposed to woman suffrage,
    educated under monarchical governments that do not comprehend our
    principles, whom I have seen traveling through the prairies of
    Iowa or the prairies of Minnesota, are the Bohemians, Swedes,
    Norwegians, Germans, Irishmen, Mennonites; I have seen them riding
    on those magnificent loads of wheat with those magnificent Saxon
    horses, shining like glass on a sunny morning, every one of them
    going to vote "no" against woman suffrage. You can not convert
    them; it is impossible. Now and then there is a whisky
    manufacturer, drunkard, inebriate, libertine, and what we call
    a fast man, and a colored man, broad and generous enough to be
    willing to let women vote, to let his mother have her opinion
    counted as to whether there shall be license or no license, but
    the rank and file of all classes, who wish to enjoy full license
    in what are termed the petty vices of men are pitted solid against
    the enfranchisement of women.

    Then, in addition to all these, there are, as you know, a few
    religious bigots left in the world who really believe that somehow
    or other if women are allowed to vote St. Paul would feel badly
    about it. I do not know but that some of the gentlemen present
    belong to that class. [Laughter.] So, when you put those best men
    of the nation, having religion about everything except on this one
    question, whose prejudices control them, with all this vast mass
    of ignorant, uneducated, degraded population in this country,
    you make an overwhelming and insurmountable majority against the
    enfranchisement of women.

    It is because of this fact that I ask you not to remand us back
    to the States, but to submit to the States the proposition of a
    sixteenth amendment. The popular-vote method is not only of itself
    an impossibility, but it is too humiliating a process to compel
    the women of this nation to submit to any longer.

    I am going to give you an illustration, not because I have any
    disrespect for the person, because on many other questions he was
    really a good deal better than a good many other men who had not
    so bad a name in this nation. When, under the old _régime_, John
    Morrissey, of my State, the king of gamblers, was a Representative
    on the floor of Congress, it was humiliating enough for Lucretia
    Mott, for Elizabeth Cady Stanton, for all of us to come down here
    to Washington and beg at the feet of John Morrissey that he would
    let intelligent, native-born women vote, and let us have as much
    right in this Government and in the government of the city of New
    York as he had. When John Morrissey was a member of the New York
    State Legislature it would have been humiliating enough for us to
    go to the New York State Legislature and pray of John Morrissey to
    vote to ratify the sixteenth amendment, giving to us a right to
    vote; but if instead of a sixteenth amendment you tell us to go
    back to the popular-vote method, the old-time method, and go down
    into John Morrissey's seventh Congressional district in the city
    of New York, and there, in the sloughs and slums of that great
    Sodom, in the grog-shops, the gambling-houses, and the brothels,
    beg at the feet of each individual fisticuff of his constituency
    to give the noble, educated, native-born, tax-paying women of
    the State of New York as much right as he has, that would be too
    bitter a pill for a native-born woman to swallow any longer.

    I beg you, gentlemen, to save us from the mortification and the
    humiliation of appealing to the rabble. We already have on our
    side the vast majority of the better educated--the best classes of
    men. You will remember that Senator Christiancy, of Michigan, two
    years ago, said on the floor of the Senate that of the 40,000 men
    who voted for woman suffrage in Michigan it was said that there
    was not a drunkard, not a libertine, not a gambler, not a
    depraved, low man among them. Is not that something that tells
    for us, and for our right? It is the fact, in every State of the
    Union, that we have the intelligent lawyers and the most liberal
    ministers of all the sects, not excepting the Roman Catholics. A
    Roman Catholic priest preached a sermon the other day, in which he
    said, "God grant that there were a thousand Susan B. Anthonys in
    this city to vote and work for temperance." When a Catholic priest
    says that there is a great moral necessity pressing down upon this
    nation demanding the enfranchisement of women. I ask you that you
    shall not drive us back to beg our rights at the feet of the
    most ignorant and depraved men of the nation, but that you, the
    representative men of the nation, will hold the question in the
    hollow of your hands. We ask you to lift this question out of the
    hands of the rabble.

    You who are here upon the floor of Congress in both Houses are the
    picked men of the nation. You may say what you please about John
    Morrissey, the gambler, &c.; he was head and shoulders above the
    rank and file of his constituency. The world may gabble ever so
    much about members of Congress being corrupt and being bought
    and sold; they are as a rule head and shoulders among the great
    majority who compose their State governments. There is no doubt
    about it. Therefore I ask of you, as representative men, as men
    who think, as men who study, as men who philosophize, as men who
    know, that you will not drive us back to the States any more, but
    that you will carry out this method of procedure which has been
    practiced from the beginning of the Government; that is, that you
    will put a prohibitory amendment in the Constitution and submit
    the proposition to the several State legislatures. The amendment
    which has been presented before you reads:

        ARTICLE XVI.

        SECTION 1. The right of suffrage in the United States shall
        be based on citizenship, and the right of citizens of the
        United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the
        United States, or by any State, on account of sex, or for any
        reason not equally applicable to all citizens of the United

        SEC. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by
        appropriate legislation.

    In this way we would get the right of suffrage just as much by
    what you call the consent of the States, or the States' rights
    method, as by any other method. The only point is that it is a
    decision by the representative men of the States instead of by
    the rank and file of the ignorant men of the States. If you would
    submit this proposition for a sixteenth amendment, by a two-thirds
    vote of the two Houses to the several legislatures, and the
    several legislatures ratify it, that would be just as much by the
    consent of the States as if Tom, Dick, and Harry voted "yes" or
    "no." Is it not, Senator? I want to talk to Democrats as well as
    Republicans, to show that it is a State's rights method.

    SENATOR EDMUNDS. Does anybody propose any other, in case it is
    done at all by the nation?

    MISS ANTHONY. Not by the nation, but they are continually driving
    us back to get it from, the States, State by State. That is the
    point I want to make. We do not want you to drive us back to the
    States. We want you men to take the question out of the hands of
    the rabble of the State.

    THE CHAIRMAN. May I interrupt you?

    MISS ANTHONY. Yes, sir; I wish you would.

    THE CHAIRMAN. You have reflected on this subject a great deal. You
    think there is a majority, as I understand, even in the State of
    New York, against women suffrage?

    MISS ANTHONY. Yes, sir; overwhelmingly.

    THE CHAIRMAN. How, then, would you get Legislatures elected to
    ratify such a constitutional amendment?

    MISS ANTHONY. That brings me exactly to the point.

    THE CHAIRMAN. That is the point I wish to hear you upon.

    MISS ANTHONY. Because the members of the State Legislatures are
    intelligent men and can vote and enact laws embodying great
    principles of the government without in any wise endangering their
    positions with their constituencies. A constituency composed of
    ignorant men would vote solid against us because they have never
    thought on the question. Every man or woman who believes in the
    enfranchisement of women is educated out of every idea that he or
    she was born into. We were all born into the idea that the proper
    sphere of women is subjection, and it takes education and thought
    and culture to lift us out of it. Therefore when men go to the
    ballot-box they till vote "no," unless they have actual argument
    on it. I will illustrate. We have six Legislatures in the nation,
    for instance, that have extended the right to vote on school
    questions to the women, and not a single member of the State
    Legislature has ever lost his office or forfeited the respect or
    confidence of his constituents as a representative because he
    voted to give women the right to vote on school questions. It is a
    question that the unthinking masses never have thought upon. They
    do not care about it one way or the other, only they have an
    instinctive feeling that because women never did vote therefore it
    is wrong that they ever should vote.

    MRS. SPENCER. Do make the point that the Congress of the United
    States leads the Legislatures of the States and educates them.

    MISS ANTHONY. When you, representative men, carry this matter to
    Legislatures, State by State, they will ratify it. My point is
    that you can safely do this. Senator Thurman, of Ohio, would
    not lose a single vote in Ohio in voting in favor of the
    enfranchisement of women. Senator EDMUNDS would not lose a single
    Republican vote in the State of Vermont if he puts himself on our
    side, which, I think, he will do. It is not a political question.
    We are no political power that can make or break either party
    to-day. Consequently each man is left independent to express his
    own moral and intellectual convictions on the matter without
    endangering himself politically.

    SENATOR EDMUNDS. I think, Miss Anthony, you ought to put it
    on rather higher, I will not say stronger, ground. If you can
    convince us that it is right we would not stop to see how it
    affected us politically.

    MISS ANTHONY. I was coming to that, I was going to say to all of
    you men in office here to-day that if you can not go forward
    and carry out either your Democratic or your Republican or your
    Greenback theories, for instance, on the finance, there is no
    great political power that is going to take you away from these
    halls and prevent you from doing all those other things which you
    want to do, and you can act out your own moral and intellectual
    convictions on this without let or hindrance.

    SENATOR EDMUNDS. Without any danger to the public interests, you

    MISS ANTHONY. Without any danger to the public interests. I did
    not mean to make a bad insinuation. Senator.

    I want to give you another reason why we appeal to you. In these
    three States where the question has been submitted and voted down
    we can not get another Legislature to resubmit it, because they
    say the people have expressed their opinion and decided no, and
    therefore nobody with any political sense would resubmit the
    question. It is therefore impossible in any one of those States.
    We have tried hard in Kansas for ten years to get the question
    resubmitted; the vote of that State seems to be taken as a
    finality. We ask you to lift the sixteenth amendment out of the
    arena of the public mass into the arena of thinking legislative
    brains, the brains of the nation, under the law and the
    Constitution. Not only do we ask it for that purpose, but when you
    will have by a two-thirds vote submitted the proposition to the
    several Legislatures, you have put the pin down and it never can
    go back. No subsequent Congress can revoke that submission of the
    proposition; there will be so much gained; it can not slide back.
    Then we will go to New York or to Pennsylvania and urge upon the
    Legislatures the ratification of that amendment. They may refuse;
    they may vote it down the first time. Then we will go to the next
    Legislature, and the next Legislature, and plead and plead, from
    year to year, if it takes ten years. It is an open question to
    every Legislature until we can get one that will ratify it, and
    when that Legislature has once voted and ratified it no subsequent
    legislation can revoke their ratification.

    Thus, you perceive, Senators, that every step we would gain by
    this sixteenth amendment process is fast and not to be done over
    again. That is why I appeal to you especially. As I have shown you
    in the respective States, if we fail to educate the people of
    a whole State--and in Michigan it was only six months, and in
    Colorado less than six months--the State Legislatures say that is
    the end of it. I appeal to you, therefore, to adopt the course
    that we suggest.

    Gentlemen of the committee, if there is a question that you want
    to ask me before I make my final appeal, I should like to have you
    put it now; any question as to constitutional law or your right to
    go forward. Of course you do not deny to us that this amendment
    will be right in the line of all the amendments heretofore. The
    eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth amendments
    are all in line prohibiting the States from doing something which
    they heretofore thought they had a right to do. Now we ask you to
    prohibit the States from denying to women their rights.

    I want to show you in closing that of the great acts of justice
    done during the war and since the war the first one was a great
    military necessity. We never got one inch of headway in putting
    down the rebellion until the purpose of this great nation was
    declared that slavery should he abolished. Then, as if by magic,
    we went forward and put down the rebellion. At the close of the
    rebellion the nation stood again at a perfect deadlock. The
    Republican party was trembling in the balance, because it feared
    that it could not hold its position, until it should have secured
    by legislation to the Government what it had gained at the
    point of the sword, and when the nation declared its purpose to
    enfranchise the negro it was a political necessity. I do not want
    to take too much vainglory out of the heads of Republicans, but
    nevertheless it is a great national fact that neither of those
    great acts of beneficence to the negro race was done because
    of any high, overshadowing moral conviction on the part of any
    considerable minority even of the people of this nation, but
    simply because of a military necessity slavery was abolished,
    and simply because of a political necessity black men were

    The blackest Republican State you had voted down negro suffrage,
    and that was Kansas in 1867; Michigan voted it down in 1867; Ohio
    voted it down in 1867. Iowa was the only State that ever voted
    negro suffrage by a majority of the citizens to which the question
    was submitted, and they had not more than seventy-five negroes
    in the whole State; so it was not a very practical question.
    Therefore, it may be fairly said, I think, that it was a military
    necessity that compelled one of those acts of justice, and a
    political necessity that compelled the other.

    It seems to me that from the first word uttered by our dear
    friend, Mrs. ex-Governor Wallace, of Indiana, all the way down, we
    have been presenting to you the fact that there is a great moral
    necessity pressing upon this nation to-day, that you shall
    go forward and attach a sixteenth amendment to the Federal
    Constitution which shall put in the hands of the women of this
    nation the power to help make, shape, and control the social
    conditions of society everywhere. I appeal to you from that
    standpoint that you shall submit this proposition.

    There is one other point to which I want to call your attention.
    The Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator EDMUNDS chairman, reported
    that the United States could do nothing to protect women in the
    right to vote under the amendments. Now I want to give you a few
    points where the United States interferes to take away the right
    to vote from women where the State has given it to them. In
    Wyoming, for instance, by a Democratic legislature, the women were
    enfranchised. They were not only allowed to vote but to sit upon
    juries, the same as men. Those of you who read the reports giving;
    the results of that action have not forgotten that the first
    result of women sitting upon juries was that wherever there was a
    violation of the whisky law they brought in verdicts accordingly
    for the execution of the law; and you will remember, too, that the
    first man who ever had a verdict of guilty for murder in the first
    degree in that Territory was tried by a jury made up largely of
    women. Always up to that day every jury had brought in a verdict
    of shot in self-defense, although the person shot down may have
    been entirely unarmed. Then, in cities like Cheyenne and Laramie,
    persons entered complaints against keepers of houses of ill-fame.

    Women were on the jury, and the result was in every case that
    before the juries could bring in a bill of indictment the women
    had taken the train and left the town. Why do you hear no more
    of women sitting on juries in that Territory? Simply because the
    United States marshal, who is appointed by the President to go to
    Wyoming, refuses to put the names of women into the box from which
    the jury is drawn. There the United States Government interferes
    to take the right away.

    A DELEGATE. I should like to state that Governor Hoyt, of Wyoming,
    who was the governor who signed the act giving to women this
    right, informed me that the right had been restored, and that his
    sister, who resides there, recently served on a jury.

    MISS ANTHONY. I am glad to hear it. It is two years since I was
    there, but I was told that that was the case. In Utah the women
    were given the right to vote, but a year and a half ago their
    Legislative Assembly found that although they had the right to
    vote the Territorial law provided that only male voters should
    hold office. The Legislative Assembly of Utah passed a bill
    providing that women should be eligible to all the offices of the
    Territory. The school offices, superintendents of schools, were
    the offices in particular to which the women wanted to be elected.
    Governor Emory, appointed by the President of the United States,
    vetoed that bill. Thus the full operations of enfranchisement
    conferred by two of the Territories has been stopped by Federal

    You ask why I come here instead of going to the State
    Legislatures. You say that whenever the Legislatures extend the
    right of suffrage to us by the constitutions of their States we
    can get it. Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Colorado,
    Kansas, Oregon, all these States, have had the school suffrage
    extended by legislative enactment. If the question had been
    submitted to the rank and file of the people of Boston, with
    66,000 men paying nothing but the poll-tax, they would have
    undoubtedly voted against letting women have the right to vote for
    members of the school board; but their intelligent representatives
    on the floor of the Legislature voted in favor of the extension of
    the school suffrage to the women. The first result in Boston has
    been the election of quite a number of women to the school board.
    In Minnesota, in the little town of Rochester, the school board
    declared its purpose to cut the women teachers' wages down. It
    did not propose to touch the principal, who was a man, but they
    proposed to cut all the women down from $50 to $35. One woman put
    her bonnet on and went over the entire town and said, "We have got
    a right to vote for this school board, and let us do so." They all
    turned out and voted, and not a single $35 man was re-elected, but
    all those who were in favor of paying $50.

    It seems to be a sort of charity to let a woman teach school. You
    say here that if a woman has a father, mother, or brother,
    or anybody to support her, she can not have a place in the
    Departments. In the city of Rochester they cannot let a married
    woman teach school because she has got a husband, and it is
    supposed he ought to support her. The women are working in the
    Departments, as everywhere else, for half price, and the only
    pretext, you tell us, for keeping women there is because the
    Government can economize by employing women for less money. The
    other day when I saw a newspaper item stating that the Government
    proposed to compensate Miss Josephine Meeker for all her bravery,
    heroism, and terrible sufferings by giving her a place in the
    Interior Department, it made my blood boil to the ends of my
    fingers and toes. To give that girl a chance to work in the
    Department; to do just as much work as a man, and pay her half as
    much, was a charity. That was a beneficence on the part of this
    grand Government to her. We want the ballot for bread. When we do
    equal work we want equal wages.

    MRS. SAXON. California, in her recent convention, prohibits the
    Legislature hereafter from enacting any law for woman's suffrage,
    does it not?

    MISS ANTHONY. I do not know. I have not seen the new constitution.

    MRS. SAXON. It does. The convention inserted a provision in the
    constitution that the Legislature could not act upon the subject
    at all.

    MISS ANTHONY. Everywhere that we have gone, Senators, to ask our
    right at the hands of any legislative or political body, we have
    been the subjects of ridicule. For instance, I went before the
    great national Democratic convention in New York, in 1868, as a
    delegate from the New York Woman Suffrage Association, to ask that
    great party, now that it wanted to come to the front again, to put
    a genuine Jeffersonian plank in its platform, pledging the ballot
    to all citizens, women as well as men, should it come into power.
    You may remember how Mr. Seymour ordered my petition to be read,
    after looking at it in the most scrutinizing manner, when it was
    referred to the committee on resolutions, where it has slept the
    sleep of death from that day to this. But before the close of
    the convention a body of ignorant workingmen sent in a petition
    clamoring for greenbacks, and you remember that the Democratic
    party bought those men by putting a solid greenback plank in the

    Everybody supposed they would nominate Pendleton, or some other
    man of pronounced views, but instead of doing that they nominated
    Horatio Seymour, who stood on the fence, politically speaking. My
    friends, Mrs. Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and women who have brains
    and education, women who are tax-payers, went there and petitioned
    for the practical application of the fundamental principles of
    our Government to one-half of the people. Those most ignorant
    workingmen, the vast mass of them foreigners, went there,
    and petitioned that that great political party should favor
    greenbacks. Why did they treat those workingmen with respect, and
    put a greenback plank in their platform, and only table us, and
    ignore us? Simply because the workingmen represented the power of
    the ballot. They could make or unmake the great Democratic party
    at that election. The women were powerless. We could be ridiculed
    and ignored with impunity, and so we were laughed at, and put on
    the table.

    Then the Republicans went to Chicago, and they did just the same
    thing. They said the Government bonds must be paid in precisely
    the currency specified by the Congressional enactment, and
    Talleyrand himself could not have devised how not to say anything
    better than the Republicans did at Chicago on that question. Then
    they nominated a man who had not any financial opinions whatever,
    and who was not known, except for his military record, and they
    went into the campaign. Both those parties had this petition from

    I met a woman in Grand Rapids, Mich., a short time ago. She came
    to me one morning and told me about the obscene shows licensed
    in that city, and said that she thought of memorializing the
    Legislature. I said, "Do; you can not do anything else; you are
    helpless, but you can petition. Of course they will laugh at you."
    Notwithstanding, I drew up a petition and she circulated it.
    Twelve hundred of the best citizens signed that petition, and the
    lady carried it to the Legislature, just as Mrs. Wallace took her
    petition in the Indiana Legislature. They read it, laughed at it,
    and laid it on the table; and at the close of the session, by
    a unanimous vote, they retired in a solid body to witness the
    obscene show themselves. After witnessing it, they not only
    allowed the license to continue for that year, but they have
    licensed it every year from that day to this, against all the
    protests of the petitioners. [Laughter.]

    SENATOR EDMUNDS. Do not think we are wanting in respect to you and
    the ladies here because you say something that makes us laugh.

    MISS ANTHONY. You are not laughing at me; you are treating me
    respectfully, because you are hearing my argument; you are not
    asleep, not one of you, and I am delighted.

    Now, I am going to tell you one other fact. Seven thousand of the
    best citizens of Illinois petitioned the Legislature of 1877 to
    give them the poor privilege of voting on the license question. A
    gentleman presented their petition; the ladies were in the lobbies
    around the room. A gentleman made a motion that the president of
    the State association of the Christian Temperance Union be
    allowed to address the Legislature regarding the petition of the
    memorialists, when a gentleman sprang to his feet, and said it was
    well enough for the honorable gentleman to present the petition,
    and have it received and laid on the table, but "for a gentleman
    to rise in his seat and propose that the valuable time of the
    honorable gentlemen of the Illinois Legislature should be consumed
    in discussing the nonsense of those women is going a little too
    far. I move that the sergeant-at-arms be ordered to clear the hall
    of the house of representatives of the mob;" referring to those
    Christian women. Now, they had had the lobbyists of the whisky
    ring in that Legislature for years and years, not only around it
    at respectful distances, but inside the bar, and nobody ever made
    a motion to clear the halls of the whisky mob there. It only takes
    Christian women to make a mob.

    MRS. SAXON. We were treated extremely respectfully in Louisiana.
    It showed plainly the temper of the convention when the present
    governor admitted that woman suffrage was a fact bound to come.
    They gave us the privilege of having women on the school boards,
    but then the officers are appointed by men who are politicians.

    MISS ANTHONY. I want to read a few words that come from good
    authority, for black men at least. I find here a little extract
    that I copied years ago from the Anti-Slavery Standard of 1870. As
    you know, Wendell Phillips was the editor of that paper at that

    "A man with the ballot in his hand is the master of the situation.
    He defines all his other rights; what is not already given him he

    That is exactly what we want, Senators. The rights you have not
    already given us; we want to get in such a position that we can
    take them.

    "The ballot makes every class sovereign over its own fate.
    Corruption may steal from a man his independence; capital may
    starve, and intrigue fetter him, at times; but against all these,
    his vote, intelligently and honestly cast, is, in the long run,
    his full protection. If, in the struggle, his fort surrenders,
    it is only because it is betrayed from within. No power ever
    permanently wronged a voting class without its own consent."

    Senators, I want to ask of you that you will, by the law and
    parliamentary rules of your committee, allow us to agitate this
    question by publishing this report and the report which you shall
    make upon our petitions, as I hope you will make a report. If your
    committee is so pressed with business that it can not possibly
    consider and report upon this question, I wish some of you would
    make a motion on the floor of the Senate that a special committee
    be appointed to take the whole question of the enfranchisement
    of women into consideration, and that that committee shall have
    nothing else to do. This off-year of politics, when there is
    nothing to do but to try how not to do it (politically, I mean,
    I am not speaking personally), is the best time you can have to
    consider the question of woman suffrage, and I ask you to use your
    influence with the Senate to have it specially attended to this
    year. Do not make us come here thirty years longer. It is twelve
    years since the first time I came before a Senate committee. I
    said then to Charles Sumner, if I could make the honorable Senator
    from Massachusetts believe that I feel the degradation and the
    humiliation of disfranchisement precisely as he would if his
    fellows had adjudged him incompetent from any cause whatever from
    having his opinion counted at the ballot-box we should have our
    right to vote in the twinkling of an eye.


    Mrs. SPENCER. Congress printed 10,000 copies of its proceedings
    concerning the memorial services of a dead man, Professor Henry.
    It cost me three months of hard work to have 3,000 copies of
    our arguments last year before the Committee on Privileges and
    Elections printed for 10,000,000 living women. I ask that the
    committee will have printed 10,000 copies of this report.

    The CHAIRMAN. The committee have no power to order the printing.
    That can only be done by the order of the Senate. A resolution
    can be offered to that effect in the Senate. I have only to say,
    ladies, that you will admit that we have listened to you with
    great attention, and I can certainly say with very great interest.
    What you have said will be duly and earnestly considered by the

    Mrs. WALLACE. I wish to make just one remark in reference to what
    Senator Thurman said as to the popular vote being against woman
    suffrage. The popular vote is against it, but not the popular
    voice. Owing to the temperance agitation in the last six years the
    growth of the suffrage sentiment among the wives and mothers of
    this nation has largely increased.

    Mrs. SPENCER. In behalf of the women of the United States, permit
    me to thank the Senate Judiciary Committee for their respectful,
    courteous, and close attention.

Mr. HOAR. Mr. President, I do not propose to make a speech at this
late hour of the day; it would be cruel to the Senate; and I had not
expected that this measure would be here this afternoon. I was absent
on a public duty and came in just at the close of the speech of my
honorable friend from Missouri [Mr. VEST]. I wish, however, to say one
word in regard to what seemed to be the burden of his speech.

He says that the women who ask this change in our political
organization are not simply seeking to be put upon school boards and
upon boards of health and charity and upon all the large number of
duties of a political nature for which he must confess they are fit,
but he says they will want to be President of the United States, and
want to be Senators, and want to be marshals and sheriffs, and that
seems to him supremely ridiculous. Now I do not understand that that
is the proposition. What they want to do and to be is to be eligible
to such public duty as a majority of their fellow-citizens may think
they are fitted for. The majority of public duties in this country do
not require robust, physical health, or exposure to what is base or
unhealthy; and when those duties are imposed upon anybody they will be
imposed only upon such persons as are fit for them. But they want
that if the majority of the American people think a woman like Queen
Victoria, or Queen Elizabeth, or Queen Isabella of Spain, or Maria
Theresa of Hungary (the four most brilliant sovereigns of any sex in
modern history with only two or three exceptions), the fittest person
to be President of the United States, they may be permitted to
exercise their choice accordingly.

Old men are eligible to office, old men are allowed to vote, but we do
not send old men to war, or make constables or watchmen or overseers
of State prisons of old men; and it is utterly idle to suppose that
the fitness to vote or the fitness to hold office has anything to do
with the physical strength or with the particular mental qualities in
regard to which the sexes differ from each other.

Mr. President, my honorable friend spoke of the French revolution and
the horrors in which the women of Paris took part, and from that he
would argue that American wives and mothers and sisters are not fit
for the calm and temperate management of our American republican
life. His argument would require him by the same logic to agree that
republicanism itself is not fit for human society. The argument is the
argument against popular government whether by man or woman, and the
Senator only applies to this new phase of the claim of equal rights
what his predecessors would argue against the rights we now have
applied to us.

But the Senator thought it was unspeakably absurd that a woman with
her sentiment and emotional nature and liability to be moved by
passion and feeling should hold the office of Senator. Why, Mr.
President, the Senator's own speech is a refutation of its own
argument. Everybody knows that my honorable friend from Missouri is
one of the most brilliant men in this country. He is a logician, he is
an orator, he is a man of large experience, he is a lawyer entrusted
with large interests; yet when he was called upon to put forth this
great effort of his this afternoon and to argue this question which he
thinks so clear, what did he do? He furnished the gush and the emotion
and the eloquence, but when he came to any argument he had to call
upon two women, Mrs. Leonard and Mrs. Whitney to supply all that.
[Laughter.] If Mrs. Leonard and Mrs. Whitney have to make the argument
in the Senate of the United States for the brilliant and distinguished
Senator from Missouri it does not seem to me so absolutely ridiculous
that they should have or that women like them should have seats here
to make arguments of their own. [Manifestations of applause in the

The joint resolution was reported to the Senate without amendment.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. If no amendment be proposed the question is,
shall the joint resolution be engrossed for a third reading?

Mr. COCKRELL. Let us have the yeas and nays.

Mr. BLAIR. Why not take the yeas and nays on the passage?

Mr. COCKRELL. Very well.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The call is withdrawn.

The joint resolution was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading,
and was read the third time.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Shall the joint resolution pass?

Mr. COCKRELL. I call for the yeas and nays.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Upon this question the yeas and nays will
necessarily be taken.

The Secretary proceeded to call the roll.

Mr. CHACE (when his name was called). I am paired with the Senator
from North Carolina [Mr. RANSOM]. If he were present I should vote

Mr. DAWES (when his name was called). I am paired with the Senator
from Texas [Mr. MAXEY]. I regret that I am not able to vote on this
question. I should vote "yea" if he were here.

Mr. COKE. My colleague [Mr. MAXEY], if present, would vote "nay."

Mr. GRAY (when Mr. GORMAN'S name was called). I am requested by the
Senator from Maryland [Mr. GORMAN] to say that he is paired with the
Senator from Maine [Mr. FRYE].

Mr. STANFORD (when his name was called). I am paired with the Senator
from West Virginia [Mr. CAMDEN]. If he were present I should vote

The roll-call was concluded.

Mr. HARRIS. I have a general pair with the Senator from Vermont [Mr.
EDMUNDS], who is necessarily absent from the Chamber, but I see his
colleague voted "nay," and as I am opposed to the resolution I will
record my vote "nay."

Mr. KENNA. I am paired on all questions with the Senator from New York

Mr. JONES, of Arkansas. I have a general pair with the Senator from
Indiana [Mr. HARRISON]. If he were present I should vote "nay" on this

Mr. BROWN. I was requested by the Senator from South Carolina [Mr.
BUTLER] to announce his pair with the Senator from Pennsylvania [Mr.
CAMERON], and to say that if the Senator from South Carolina were
present he would vote "nay." I do not know how the Senator from
Pennsylvania would vote.

Mr. CULLOM. I was requested by the Senator from Maine [Mr. FRYE] to
announce his pair with the Senator from Maryland [Mr. GORMAN].

The result was announced--yeas 16, nays 34; as follows:


Mitchell of Oreg.,
Mitchell of Pa.,
Wilson of Iowa.


Jones of Nevada,
Wilson of Md.


Jones of Arkansas,
Jones of Florida,
Van Wyck,

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Two-thirds have not voted for the resolution.
It is not passed.

Mr. PLUMB subsequently said: I wish to state that I was unexpectedly
called out of the Senate just before the vote was taken on the
constitutional amendment, and to also state that if I had been here I
should have voted for it.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Debate on Woman Suffrage in the Senate of the United States, - 2d Session, 49th Congress, December 8, 1886, and January 25, 1887" ***

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