Seneca Falls Convention 1848

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A touchstone moment and fulcrum point of both literal and symbolic significance, the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 is considered to have begun the organized first wave of the feminist movement in America. The nineteenth-century women's rights movement focused women's discontent about their social and legal situations and introduced the imperative of political change.


Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902), the most important philosopher among the women's rights advocates in the nineteenth-century United States, was born into a conservative family. She married an abolitionist lecturer, Henry Brewster Stanton (1805–1887), in 1840, and together they attended the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London during their honeymoon. The movement for gaining women's right to vote can be dated back to that event, for the refusal to allow women delegates to participate challenged the activist women "to confront their own oppression," according to the historian Judith Wellman (p. 63). And it was in London that Elizabeth Stanton met the Quaker minister Lucretia Mott (1793–1880), who was to become one of Stanton's most important mentors.

After Elizabeth Stanton moved to the village of Seneca Falls, New York, in 1847, she and Lucretia Mott determined to hold a local convention to discuss women's rights. The necessary cultural conditions had been arising during public discussion about the implications of changing the laws against women's ownership of property. New York passed its first Married Women's Property Act in April 1848, allowing married women to control and acquire property legally. The stage was also set by events in June 1848, including the creation of a new group called the Congregational Friends, started by adherents of the Quaker faith in nearby Waterloo, New York, and by the formation of the Free-Soil Party, which sought to eliminate slavery in the United States western territories.

As the lives of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Henry Stanton demonstrate, the women's rights movement is linked significantly with the abolition cause. But it is not merely that women compared their oppression with that of slaves and used the metaphor of "slavery," because women also learned through participation in the antislavery movement how to turn their perceptions of injustice into a widespread political movement. As Ellen Du Bois explains, abolitionism provided women "with a way to escape clerical authority, an egalitarian ideology, and a theory of social change" (p. 32). When abolitionism grew beyond its evangelical origins and began challenging institutional Protestant religion, William Lloyd Garrison (1805–1879), editor of The Liberator, emphasized whites' and blacks' common, shared humanity. Abolitionist feminists applied this concept to women, and the philosophy that "women were essentially human and only incidentally female liberated them from the necessity of justifying their own actions in terms of what was appropriate to women's sphere" (Du Bois, p. 36). Furthermore, the Seneca Falls Convention shows that the emphasis on overcoming public apathy by raising and agitating sentiment about one's cause was a prominent method among advocates of both abolition and women's rights.


Although the first announcement appeared only eight days before the meeting, approximately three hundred people attended the Seneca Falls Convention, held at the Wesleyan Chapel of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, an abolitionist denomination, on 20 and 21 July 1848. The object of the meeting, as stated in their public call, was to discuss "the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of women." Women and men gave speeches, read aloud and discussed the content of the Declaration of Sentiments, made some revisions, and approved the document. The Declaration of Sentiments was a rewriting of the Preamble of the U.S. Declaration of Independence to declare men and women equal and to criticize the specific "injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman."

This passage is from Elizabeth Cady Stanton's memoir Eighty Years and More: Reminiscences 1815–1897. It shows the underpinnings of Stanton's thinking about women's rights and her interest in agitating public awareness of the cause. Stanton was also, like Ralph Waldo Emerson, a philosopher of her era.

Emerson says, "A healthy discontent is the first step to progress." The general discontent I felt with woman's portion as wife, mother, housekeeper, physician, and spiritual guide, the chaotic conditions into which everything fell without her constant supervision, and the wearied, anxious look of the majority of women impressed me with a strong feeling that some active measures should be taken to remedy the wrongs of society in general, and of women in particular. My experience at the World's Anti-slavery Convention, all I had read of the legal status of women, and the oppression I saw everywhere, together swept across my soul, intensified now by many personal experiences. It seemed as if all the elements had conspired to impel me to some onward step. I could not see what to do or where to begin—my only thought was a public meeting for protest and discussion.

In this tempest-tossed condition of mind I received an invitation to spend the day with Lucretia Mott, at Richard Hunt's, in Waterloo [New York]. There I met several members of different families of [Quaker] Friends, earnest, thoughtful women. I poured out, that day, the torrent of my long-accumulating discontent, with such vehemence and indignation that I stirred myself, as well as the rest of the party, to do and dare anything. My discontent, according to Emerson, must have been healthy, for it moved us all to prompt action, and we decided, then and there, to call a "Woman's Rights Convention."

Stanton, Eighty Years and More, pp. 147–148.

Signing continued on both days of the convention, but the reasons that only one-third of the persons present signed the document remain unknown. For instance, Quakers held egalitarian principles about men and women, but they might not have supported participation by either sex in the corrupt world of politics. Others may have sympathized but been reticent to sign publicly in support of women's political rights. All resolutions in the Declaration of Sentiments passed. Disagreement concerned whether men as well as women should sign the declaration and whether the convention should demand the elective franchise for women, or the right to vote; both questions were answered affirmatively. The only known African American to sign the declaration was Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), author of the most famous autobiography by an escaped American slave (1845), who spoke out for both women's suffrage and abolition.

Many other conventions, regional and national, followed this first convention, and national women's rights organizations were also formed. It is valuable to remember that these early women's rights activists had to teach themselves how to be instigators of a rebellion because their lives of domesticity had not trained them for such civic participation. Female friendships were thus an essential resource of the movement. Among the more supportive and enduring activist friendships was the relationship begun in 1851 between Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906), who is considered to have been the most effective recruiter and organizer of the women's rights advocates.

With the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1920, giving women the right to vote, some people heralded the completed success of the goals motivating the Seneca Falls Convention. But more leaders believed that the work of feminism's "second wave" was just beginning and that there was much more work to do for achieving women's equality. There is no consensus on whether full parity has been achieved by the early twenty-first century.


Without dramatizing the event itself, creative literature throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century regularly addressed the concerns expressed at the Seneca Falls Convention. Exploring what women's "rights" should be provided the conflicts for many novels, and the 1850s mark a turning point of heightened awareness and frequent contesting of the limited roles and living conditions previously assigned to American women. Many writers chose to advance or condemn progressive issues indirectly through their fiction. The inclusion of intellectually curious heroines in many popular novels by authors of all political leanings of this time period attests to the increased interest in women's minds and not just their bodies. The educational attainments of these female characters, in both their own learning and their employment as teachers, shows that the abilities of women extended beyond domestic management and that they could achieve success in the public sphere. However, best-selling authors usually ended books with the heroine's marriage, thus returning their women to the domestic sphere.

James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851), author of the Leatherstocking series of books, including The Last of the Mohicans (1826), reacted against the tide of support for women's rights. Cooper's The Ways of the Hour (1850) expresses his disagreement with New York's Married Women's Property Act, which he feared would bring chaos and destroy families. Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte (E. D. E. N.) Southworth (1819–1899) much more favorably addressed property laws and women's rights in The Discarded Daughter; or, The Children of the Isle, serialized during 1851 and 1852. Yet Southworth is best known for establishing a new type of heroine: the adventurous young woman who defies gender restrictions, struggles for the people and causes she loves, and outwits villainy, often while disguised as male. Southworth's most famous character is "Capitola the Madcap" from The Hidden Hand, a serialized tale that became a best-selling novel in 1888. Capitola performs typically masculine feats, such as rescuing a woman from a forced marriage, fighting a duel, and capturing a criminal and determining his just retribution. Another popular Southworth adventure novel, serialized under the title Britomarte, the Man-Hater (1865–1866), includes a heroine who is an outspoken women's rights activist. The literary critic Karen Tracey explains how Southworth used the "double-proposal plot" structure with a renegotiation of marriage customs to show that "the political and the personal are intertwined" (p. 133) and that women deserved the additional responsibilities they proved they could manage during the Civil War. The novel was republished as two books with milder titles, Fair Play; or, the Test of the Lone Isle (1868) and How He Won Her: A Sequel to "Fair Play" (1869), emphasizing the romantic endings.

Laura Curtis Bullard (1831–1912), a novelist and journalist, publicly promoted universal suffrage and reforms to improve women's lives, but her experimental novels reached comparatively few popular readers. In Christine; or, Woman's Trials and Triumphs (1856), the heroine initially rejects marriage and devotes herself to women's rights but ultimately combines marriage with her career in lecturing, writing about feminist issues, and training professional women workers. In 1870 Bullard took over the editorship of the Revolution, a feminist periodical begun by Anthony and Stanton to publish fiction and nonfiction on behalf of women's rights.

Henry James's novel The Bostonians (1886) features characters advocating women's rights, including a charismatic young public speaker romantically pursued by a southern man who believes women belong only in the private sphere of the home; he ultimately removes her from the activist community, keeping her from the lecture stage. Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne's (1804–1864) The Scarlet Letter (1850) may be the quintessential American heroine, a character bringing unity to the fragmented women's roles in antebellum America and dreaming of a revolution in religious interpretation and relations between men and women. Hawthorne's The Blithedale Romance (1852) severely critiques feminists and reformers, but his creation of memorable and complex female characters contributes to his stature as one of America's most important authors.

Humorists were also inspired by the beginnings of feminism. In 1855 George Pickering Burnham's History of the Hen Fever: A Humorous Record in part parodied the women's rights movement. Newspapers also responded immediately with ridicule of the Seneca Falls Convention, which, added to family pressures, caused many signers of the original Declaration of Sentiments to withdraw their names if not their agreement. Softening her social commentary with comedy, Sara Payson Willis Parton (1811–1872), known as Fanny Fern, used her novel Ruth Hall (1855) and a weekly newspaper column from 1853 to 1872 to satirize social problems, lampoon male tyranny, and demand economic independence for women. From the 1870s to the early twentieth century, the satirist Marietta Holley (1836–1926) used the persona of Samantha, "Josiah Allen's wife," to endorse the causes of feminism and women's suffrage.

See alsoAbolitionist Writing; Declaration of Sentiments; Female Authorship; Feminism; Friendship; History; Marriage; Quakers; Reform; Suffrage


Primary Works

Bullard, Laura Curtis. Christine; or, Woman's Trials andTriumphs. New York: DeWitt and Davenport, 1856.

Burnham, George Pickering. The History of the Hen Fever: A Humorous Record. Boston: James French, 1855.

Fern, Fanny [Sara Payson Willis Parton]. Ruth Hall, aDomestic Tale of the Present Time. 1855. Introduction and notes by Susan Belasco Smith. New York: Penguin, 1997.

Southworth, E. D. E. N. Fair Play; or, The Test of the Lone Isle. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson, 1868.

Southworth, E. D. E. N. How He Won Her: A Sequel to "Fair Play." Philadelpha: T. B. Peterson, 1869.

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady. Eighty Years and More:Reminiscences, 1815–1897. 1898. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993.

Secondary Works

Bardes, Barbara, and Suzanne Gossett. Declarations ofIndependence: Women and Political Power in Nineteenth-Century American Fiction. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1990.

Du Bois, Ellen Carol. Feminism and Suffrage: The Emergence of an Independent Women's Movement in America,1848–1869. 1978. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1999.

Reynolds, David S. Beneath the American Renaissance: TheSubversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville. New York: Knopf, 1988.

Tracey, Karen. Plots and Proposals: American Women'sFiction, 1850–90. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000.

Wellman, Judith. The Road to Seneca Falls: Elizabeth CadyStanton and the First Women's Rights Convention. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004.

Amy Cummins

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The Seneca Falls Convention, which took place in Seneca Falls, New York, in July 1848, was the first national women's rights convention and a pivotal event in the continuing story of U.S. and women's rights.

The idea for the convention occurred in London in 1840 when elizabeth cady stanton and Lucretia Mott, who were attending a meeting of the World Anti-Slavery Society, were denied the opportunity to speak from the floor or to be seated as delegates. Mott and Stanton left the hall where the meeting was taking place and began to discuss the fact that while they were trying to secure rights for enslaved African Americans, American women found themselves treated unequally in numerous ways. They concluded that what was needed was a national convention in which women could take steps to secure equal rights with men. Although they agreed that the need for such a convention was a pressing one, they were not to take action on their plan for several years.

Both Stanton and Mott were progressive leaders who had been active in reform movements. Mott, a former teacher who had grown up in Boston, had become interested in women's rights when she discovered that because she was female, she was earning a salary that was exactly half that of male teachers. In 1811 she married fellow teacher James Mott and moved to Philadelphia. She became a member of the Society of Friends (also known as the Quakers) and began to travel the country speaking on the topic of religion and issues including temperance, peace, and the abolition of slavery. In 1833 Mott attended the founding meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Shortly afterwards she founded a women's auxiliary, the Philadelphia Female Anti-slavery Society, and was elected president of the group. Her new position caused a rift within the Society of Friends, and some sought to revoke her membership. Undeterred by the conflict, Mott was an organizer of the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women in 1837.

Stanton, the daughter of a lawyer and U.S. congressman, had studied her father's law books. In 1840 she married Henry Brewster Stanton, a lawyer and abolitionist. The command for the wife to "obey" her husband was left out of their wedding vows. Like Mott, Stanton and her husband were active members of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Following her meeting with Mott in London, Stanton returned to the United States where she began to travel and speak on the subject of women's rights. In 1848 Stanton helped circulate petitions that led to the enactment of a New York State married women's property bill. This law allowed married women to keep in their own name property they brought into the marriage. The law also gave them the right to keep the wages they had earned and to retain guardianship of their children in cases of separation or divorce.

In 1848, Stanton and Mott met with Mott's sister, Martha Coffin Wright, along with Jane Hunt and Mary Ann McClintock to organize the long-awaited women's rights convention. The plan was to hold a meeting in Seneca Falls, New York (where Stanton lived), on July 19 and 20, with follow-up meetings to take place in Rochester, New York. An announcement in the Seneca County Courier, a local periodical, stated that there would be "A Convention to discuss the social, civil and religious condition and rights of woman" and gave the particulars. The first day of the meeting was to be exclusively for women who were "earnestly invited to attend," with the second day open to the general public to hear a speech by Lucretia Mott.

The historic meeting took place at the Wesleyan Church chapel in Seneca Falls. Despite the plan to have the first day for women only, a large crowd of both men and women sought entry to the locked chapel. A male professor from Yale volunteered to enter through an open window and once the doors were opened, the crowd streamed in. Approximately 100 to 300 people were in attendance, including many men who supported the idea of women's rights. Although the majority was Caucasian, there were also some African Americans in attendance. Because none of the women felt capable of overseeing the proceedings, James Mott presided.

On the first day, Elizabeth Cady Stanton presented the organizers' Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions. The Seneca Falls declaration was carefully patterned on the Declaration of Independence that had been crafted by the colonial revolutionaries. The declaration written primarily by thomas jefferson stated that all men are created equal. The Seneca Falls declaration held that "all men and women" are created equal and are endowed with inalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration of Independence listed 18 charges against George III, the king of England. The Declaration of Sentiments described 18 charges of "repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman" including the denial of the right to vote, unfair laws regarding separation and divorce, and inequality in regard to religion, education, and employment. It stated the hope that the convention in Seneca Falls would be followed by a series of conventions throughout the country. The 12 resolutions enunciated in the Declaration of Sentiments called for the repeal of laws that enforced unequal treatment of women, the recognition of women as the equals of men, the granting of the right to vote, the right for women to speak in churches, and the equal participation of women with men in "the various trades, professions, and commerce."

After much discussion and debate, the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions was passed largely as written. The biggest obstacle was the resolution that called for women's right to vote, known as woman suffrage. Numerous attendees, men and women alike, felt that the right to vote was too radical an idea to gain public acceptance. Lucretia Mott was open to discarding the resolution, but Stanton held firm with strong support from the prominent African–American abolitionist frederick douglass. After Douglass

stated that "Suffrage is the power to choose rulers and make laws, and the right by which all others are secured," the woman suffrage resolution passed by a very narrow margin.

After two days of vigorous discussion and debate, 100 women and men signed the Seneca Falls Declaration, although some later removed their names after being subjected to intense criticism. A storm of sarcasm and protest broke out after the convention prompting Frederick Douglass to write that a discussion of animal rights would have brought forth less opposition than a call for women's rights. James Gordon Bennett, publisher of the widely read New York Herald, published the entire declaration as a gesture of ridicule. Welcoming the publicity, Stanton and many of the Seneca Falls attendees hailed Bennett's move as a way to disseminate their message on a broader scale.

For the next several decades, Stanton, Mott and temperance supporter susan b. anthony led the struggle for women's rights including the vote. Stanton helped co-found the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) in 1869. The following year the fifteenth amendment that secured the right to vote for African–American males was ratified by Congress. In 1876 Mott and the NWSA issued a Declaration and Protest of the Women of the United States that renewed the fight for women's rights and sought the impeachment of political leaders who permitted women to be taxed while denying them representation and who also did not allow women on juries thus denying them the right to a trial by a jury of their peers. Mott, who continued to actively support the abolition of slavery as well as temperance, peace, and women's rights, died in 1880. In 1890 the NWSA merged with a rival organization, the American Woman Suffrage Association, to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Stanton was elected president. She was succeeded in 1892 by Anthony. In 1878 Stanton had drafted a federal woman suffrage amendment that continued to be introduced in each new term of Congress. Stanton died in 1902 and her amendment continued to be brought up until it was passed in the form of the nineteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. At the time that woman suffrage passed, only one signer from the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, Charlotte Woodward, lived long enough to cast her ballot.

Despite the long delay before women were politically enfranchised, the movement that emanated from the Seneca Falls convention made slow but inexorable progress. Some colleges began to admit women as students and more states enacted married women's property acts.

further readings

Bernhard, Virginia, and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, eds. 1995. The Birth of American Feminism: The Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention of 1848. Naugatuck, Conn.: Brandywine.

Griffith, Elisabeth. 1985. In Her Own Right: The Life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

Miller, Bradford. 1995. Returning to Seneca Falls. Herndon, Va.: Lindisfarne Books.


"Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments" (Appendix, Primary Document); Women's Rights.

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SENECA FALLS CONVENTION was the first public gathering in the United States called explicitly for the purpose of debating the issue of women's rights. Meeting in Seneca Falls, New York, on 19–20 July 1848, a group of almost three hundred women and men passed a series of resolutions that protested against the moral, political, social, and legal status of women.

The American Revolution indirectly raised the question of women's rights by bringing the issues of equality and natural rights to the fore. In response, some Americans began to discuss the meaning of women's rights. However, their discussions occurred largely in private, and no organized, collective feminist movement emerged. Women remained largely invisible under the law, unable to vote, hold public office, or enjoy the same social or professional opportunities as men. In most states women were not even legally entitled to possess the wages they had earned.

Attitudes began to change in the early nineteenth century as women joined various social reform groups, such as temperance societies, anti-prostitution leagues, and antislavery organizations. The abolitionist movement, in particular, became a magnet for women committed to eradicating social evils. However, because women could not vote or hold office, they could advocate their position only through indirect means, such as petitioning, moral suasion, or by using their influence over male politicians. Over time women began to feel the limits of these constraints. They began to see analogies between the plight of slaves held in bondage and their own condition. Some of the more radical members of the antislavery organizations concluded that they must agitate for the rights of women along with the abolition of slavery.

The antislavery advocates Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were the prime movers behind the Seneca Falls Convention. During a casual visit by Mott at Stanton's home in Seneca Falls, the two shared their common frustration with the slow pace of progress for women. Deciding to act, they placed an advertisement in a local newspaper calling for a meeting on the subject of women's rights to be convened the very next week. In preparation, they met with other local women, including Mott's sister, Martha Wright, as well as Jane Hunt and Mary Ann McClintock, to draft the declarations, resolutions, and speeches that would be presented to the gathering.

On 19 July 1848 the convention convened in the Wesleyan Methodist Church to discuss women's rights. James Mott, Lucretia Mott's husband and a respected Quaker leader, chaired the session. The convention voted

on a variety of measures, including the Declaration of Sentiments. Modeled on the Declaration of Independence, this document asserted women's equality with men and protested against the "long train of abuses" that "reduce [women] under absolute despotism." The convention unanimously passed a series of resolutions that challenged women's current status. They opposed women's exclusion from the rights of citizenship; rejected their second-class legal position; objected to the moral double standard; and inveighed against their inability to obtain the same educational and professional opportunities as men.

Stanton, however, proposed one resolution that aroused a great deal of controversy. She insisted that women be permitted to exercise "their sacred right to the elective franchise." Many participants, including Lucretia Mott, feared that this demand would be too radical and might alienate potential supporters. Ultimately the proposal did pass by a narrow margin. Sixty-eight women and thirty-two men signed the convention's final statement.

Seneca Falls represented the beginning of the country's first feminist movement. Subsequently throughout the 1840s and 1850s, conventions met all over the country to discuss the issue of women's rights. Yet not until 1920, with passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, did women gain the right to vote.


Anderson, Bonnie S. Joyous Greetings: The First International Women's Movement, 1830–1860. Oxford, U.K., and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

DuBois, Ellen Carol. Feminism and Suffrage: The Emergence of an Independent Women's Movement in America, 1848–1869. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1978; reprint, 1999.

Isenberg, Nancy. Sex and Citizenship in Antebellum America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, Susan B. Anthony, Ida Husted Harper, and Matilda Joslyn Gage, eds. History of Woman Suffrage. 6 vols. New York: Fowler and Wells, 1881. Reprint, Salem, N.H.: Ayer, 1985.


See alsoWomen's Rights Movement: The Nineteenth Century ; andvol. 9:Seneca Falls Declaration of Rights and Sentiments .

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On July 19 and 20, 1848, in Seneca Falls, New York, the first public meeting on behalf of women's rights was convened, thus inaugurating a movement that three-quarters of a century later resulted in the constitutional enfranchisement of women. The chief organizer was elizabeth cady stanton, then a mother of four living in this upstate industrial village. She was aided by Lucretia Mott, dean of American women abolitionists. The two had met in 1840 in London, and from then on Mott served as Stanton's mentor, sharing her radical Quaker convictions about the equality of the sexes with her apt pupil.

Around the world, 1848 was a year of international political upheaval and revolutionary inspiration. In Seneca Falls, Stanton, Mott, and three other women prepared a Declaration of Sentiments, Grievances and Resolutions. The preamble was modeled on the declaration of independence, so as to endow women's discontent with political legitimacy. It claimed, "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal." A list of grievances indicted the long "history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman," chief of which was the denial to women of "the inalienable right to the elective franchise." The Declaration also concentrated on the disabilities that law and custom imposed on wives by regarding them as the property of their husbands. Women's exclusion from higher education, trades and professions, from church authority and moral responsibility, and from all that would build "faith in [their] own powers" was also protested.

The Declaration concluded with thirteen resolutions for future action, of which only the ninth, declaring that it is "the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right of the franchise," was controversial. Stanton's defense of the franchise demand was supported by Frederick Douglass, the only disfranchised man attending, and after debate the convention passed it. Two weeks later a second session of the convention was held in Rochester, which session focused on the grievances of working women. Newspaper coverage was widespread and uniformly disrespectful, but Stanton thought the former was well worth the latter. Beginning in 1850, national women's rights conventions were held annually, and a generation of female reformers began the complex task of undoing the deep legal bias against women's autonomy and establishing sexual equality.

Ellen Carol Du b ois

(see also: Woman Suffrage Movement.)


Du Bois, Ellen Carol 1978 Feminism and Suffrage: The Emergence of an Independent Women's Movement in the U.S., 1848–1869. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.

Gordon, Ann D., ed. 1997 The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Vol. 1. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.

Wellman, Judith 1991 Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention: A Study of Social Networks. Journal of Women's History 3:9–37.

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Seneca Falls Convention (1848) Women's rights convention held at Seneca Falls, New York. Elizabeth Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the convention, the first aimed at obtaining equal rights for women. About 300 people attended, and a “Declaration of Sentiments” was issued.