United States Suffrage Movement in the 19th Century: Overviews
UNITED STATES SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT IN THE 19TH CENTURY: OVERVIEWS
ELLEN CAROL DUBOIS (ESSAY DATE 1978)
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MARJORIE SPRUILL WHEELER (ESSAY DATE 1995)
SOURCE: Wheeler, Marjorie Spruill. "Introduction: A Short History of the Woman Suffrage Movement in America." In One Woman, One Vote: Rediscovering the Woman Suffrage Movement, edited by Marjorie Spruill Wheeler, pp. 9-20. Troutdale, Oreg.: New Sage Press, 1995.
In the following excerpt, Wheeler traces the origins, strategies, divisions, and state victories of the woman's suffrage movement from 1848 to the end of the nineteenth century.
ON THE SUBJECT OF…
LUCRETIA COFFIN MOTT (1793-1880)
Lucretia Coffin Mott was a pioneer feminist leader and radical abolitionist. She was born on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts; her family became Quakers and in 1804 moved to the mainland. She was educated in Boston and New York, and after working briefly as a schoolteacher, married James Mott in 1811. At the age of twenty-eight, Mott became a Quaker minister, and when the denomination divided over matters of doctrine she supported the liberal, or Hick-site, faction. The Motts were abolitionists, and their home became a station on the Underground Railroad, by which Southern slaves escaped to the North. Mott helped found the first antislavery society for women in 1837, and later, with other militant abolitionist women, helped William Lloyd Garrison take over the American Antislavery Society.
In 1840 Mott was one of a group of women who accompanied Garrison to London for a world antislavery convention; Garrison sat with Mott and other women in the gallery when they were refused seating in the main area, and denied official recognition as delegates from the United States. At the convention Mott met the young Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Their friendship developed, and Mott inspired Stanton, who in time grew more radical than her mentor. The two eventually organized the first Woman's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. During the Civil War, Mott was a vocal supporter of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. She was deeply distressed by the split in the women's rights movement that developed in the late 1860s, and worked to heal it until her death in 1880.
The woman suffrage movement, which began in the northeastern United States, developed in the context of antebellum reform. Many women including Sarah and Angelina Grimké, Abby Kelley Foster, Lucretia Mott, Maria Stewart, Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, began speaking out for woman's rights when their efforts to participate fully in the great reform movements of the day—including antislavery and temperance—were rebuffed. These early feminists demanded a wide range of changes in woman's social, moral, legal, educational, and economic status; the right to vote was not their initial focus. Indeed, those present at the Seneca Falls Convention in upstate New York regarded the resolution demanding the vote as the most extreme of all their demands, and adopted it by a narrow margin at the insistence of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass.
After the Civil War, women's rights leaders saw enfranchisement as one of the most important, perhaps the most important of their goals. Enfranchisement, they believed, was essential both as a symbol of women's equality and individuality and a means of improving women's legal and social condition. They were extremely disappointed when the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments did not provide universal suffrage for all Americans, but extended the franchise only to black men. In fact, women's rights advocates divided acrimoniously in 1869 largely over the issue of whether or not to support ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment.
Suffrage Strategies During "The Schism": 1869-1890
Two woman suffrage organizations were founded in 1869, with different positions on the Fifteenth Amendment and different ideas about how best to promote woman suffrage. The National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) headed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony opposed the Fifteenth Amendment, but called for a Sixteenth Amendment that would enfranchise women. Led exclusively by women, the New York-based NWSA focused upon the enfranchisement of women through federal action, and adopted a more radical tone in promoting a wide variety of feminist reforms in its short-lived journal, The Revolution.
The other organization, the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) with headquarters in Boston, was led by Lucy Stone with the aid of her husband Henry Blackwell, Mary Livermore, Julia Ward Howe, Henry Ward Beecher, Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Thomas Wentworth Higginson and others. It supported ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment while working for woman suffrage as well. While endorsing a federal amendment for female enfranchisement, this organization concentrated on developing grass-roots support for woman suffrage. Employing agents who traveled all over the nation, establishing local and state suffrage organizations, speaking and circulating literature, and working through its newspaper, The Woman's Journal, the AWSA engaged in a massive educational campaign designed to make woman suffrage and other feminist reforms seem less radical and consistent with widely shared American values. AWSA members promoted state suffrage amendments and various forms of "partial suffrage" legislation, including bills giving women the right to vote on school or municipal issues or in presidential elections; they believed that these measures were desirable in themselves and a means to the eventual end—full suffrage for all American women.
Meanwhile, suffragists associated with the NWSA, disheartened by the response to the proposed federal amendment, and disdaining the state-by-state approach, tried to win their rights by other approaches, known collectively as the "New Departure." These suffragists challenged their exclusion from voting on the grounds that, as citizens, they could not be deprived of their rights as protected by the Constitution. Victoria Woodhull, a radical, iconoclastic, and beautiful figure who briefly gained the support of Stanton and Anthony in the 1870s (before her scandalous personal life and advocacy of free love were revealed at great cost to the movement), made this argument before Congress in 1871.
In 1872, Susan B. Anthony attempted to vote, hoping to be arrested and to have the opportunity to test this strategy in the courts; she was arrested and indicted for "knowingly, wrongfully and unlawfully vot[ing] for a representative to the Congress of the United States." Found guilty and fined, she insisted she would never pay a dollar of it. Virginia Minor, a suffrage leader in St. Louis, succeeded in getting the issue before the United States Supreme Court, but in 1875 the court ruled unanimously that citizenship did not automatically confer the right to vote and that the issue of female enfranchisement should be decided within the states.
The West Pioneers in Woman Suffrage
Even as the NWSA and the AWSA competed for support and tried several strategies for winning female enfranchisement to no avail, woman suffrage was making headway in the West. While most eastern politicians were dead set against woman suffrage, politicians and voters in several western states enfranchised women and, at times, battled Congress for the right to do so. In 1869 Wyoming led the nation in the adoption of woman suffrage while still a territory; in 1890, when it appeared that Congress would not approve its application for statehood as long as Wyoming allowed woman suffrage, the legislature declared "we will remain out of the Union a hundred years rather than come in without the women." Even the Mormon stronghold of Utah enacted woman suffrage as a territory in 1870 and came into the Union with woman suffrage in 1896. Colorado (1893) and Idaho (1896) were the other "pioneering" suffrage states.
Historians differ as to the reason why the West was so precocious in its adoption of woman suffrage. One theory was that frontier conditions undermined traditional gender roles and that women, having proven their ability to conquer difficult conditions and do "men's work," were rewarded with the vote. Another theory was that the politicians hoped that women voters would help to "civilize" the West. Most historians stress practical politics as opposed to advanced ideology as the explanation, arguing that western politicians found it expedient to enfranchise women for a variety of reasons. In Utah, for example, Mormons were confident that the votes of women would help preserve Mormon traditions—including polygamy—and that enfranchising women would help to dispel the idea widely accepted in the East that Mormon women were an oppressed lot.
For whatever reasons, these four western states were the only states to adopt woman suffrage in the nineteenth century. The next round of state victories did not come until 1910, and these were also in the West (Washington, 1910; California, 1911; Oregon, 1912; Kansas, 1912; and Arizona, 1912).
Woman Suffrage and Temperance
Meanwhile, the suffrage movement won a valuable ally when Frances Willard, as president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), led thousands of otherwise quite traditional women to "convert" to the cause of woman suffrage as a way of protecting the home, women, and children. Following its official endorsement in 1880, the WCTU created a Department of Franchise under Zerelda Wallace and Dr. Anna Howard Shaw (later president of the NAWSA), which encouraged state WCTU chapters to endorse suffrage and distributed suffrage literature. Though Willard was a member of the AWSA and invited Susan B. Anthony to speak before the WCTU, the temperance organization's work for woman suffrage was particularly valuable in creating support for suffrage among women who might have considered the existing suffrage organizations and their leaders eccentric or radical.
The WCTU endorsement, however, gained for the suffrage movement a powerful opponent when the liquor industry concluded that woman suffrage was a threat to be stopped at all costs. Indeed, NAWSA President Carrie Chapman Catt later referred to the liquor industry as "the Invisible Enemy" and believed that its corrupt manipulation of American politics long delayed the coming of woman suffrage.
Unity Restored Through the NAWSA: 1890
One of the most important turning points in the history of the woman suffrage movement came in 1890 as the two national suffrage organizations reunited in one major organization. At the instigation of younger suffragists, the movement's aging pioneers put aside their differences sufficiently to merge their rival organizations into the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Elizabeth Cady Stanton was elected president; Lucy Stone, head of the executive committee; and Susan B. Anthony, vice president; but it was Anthony who actually took command of the new organization. (She became president officially in 1892 and remained in office until 1900.) While continuing to demand a federal amendment, NAWSA leaders concluded that they must first build support within the states, winning enough state suffrage amendments that Congress would approve a federal amendment and three-fourths of the states would be sure to ratify.
Though Stanton continued to address a wide range of feminist issues, many of them quite radical (including an indictment of Christianity in her 1895 The Woman's Bible), most NAWSA leaders including Anthony thought it imperative that the movement focus almost exclusively on winning the vote. In keeping with this new approach and influenced by the conservatism of new recruits, the suffragists went to great lengths to avoid association with radical causes.
Woman Suffrage and the Race Issue
This new approach included shedding the traditional association of women's rights with the rights of blacks. Although the NAWSA never stopped using natural rights arguments for woman suffrage, white suffragists—still indignant that black men were enfranchised ahead of them and angry at the ease with which immigrant men were enfranchised—drifted away from insistence upon universal suffrage and increasingly employed racist and nativist rhetoric and tactics.
The new NAWSA strategy included building support in the South. There the historic connection between the woman's movement and antislavery made suffrage anathema to the white conservatives who once again controlled the region and made advocacy of woman suffrage quite difficult for the influential white women the NAWSA wished to recruit. In the 1890s, however, with Laura Clay of Kentucky as intermediary, NAWSA leaders went to great lengths to, in Clay's words, "bring in the South."
Using a strategy first suggested by Henry Blackwell, northern and southern leaders began to argue that woman suffrage—far from endangering white supremacy in the South—could be a means of restoring it. In fact, they suggested that the adoption of woman suffrage with educational or property qualifications that would disqualify most black women, would allow the South to restore white supremacy in politics without "having to" disfranchise black men and risk Congressional repercussions.
The NAWSA spent considerable time and resources developing this "southern strategy," sending Catt and Anthony on speaking tours through the region, and holding the 1895 NAWSA convention in Atlanta. Eager to avoid offending their southern hosts they even asked their aging hero Frederick Douglass—who was an honored participant in women's rights conventions elsewhere in the nation—to stay away from the Atlanta meeting. By 1903, however, it was becoming clear that this southern strategy had failed; the region's politicians refused (in the words of one Mississippi politician) to "cower behind petticoats" and "use lovely women" to maintain white supremacy. Instead, they found other means to do so that did not involve the "destruction" of woman's traditional role.
White suffragists largely turned their backs on African American women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and, in the South, excluded them totally from white suffrage organizations. Nevertheless, a growing number of African American women actively supported woman suffrage during this period. Following a path blazed by former slave Sojourner Truth and free blacks Harriet Forten Purvis and Margaretta Forten who spoke at antebellum women's rights conventions, and Massachusetts reformers Caroline Remond Putman and Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin who were active in the AWSA in the 1870s, black women persevered in their advocacy of woman suffrage even in these difficult times. Prominent African American suffragists included Ida B. Wells-Barnett of Chicago, famous as a leading crusader against lynching; Mary Church Terrell, educator and first president of the National Association of Colored Women (NACW); and Adella Hunt Logan, Tuskegee faculty member, who, in articles in The Crisis, insisted that if white women needed the vote to protect their rights, then black women—victims of racism as well as sexism—needed the ballot even more.
Still, white suffrage leaders, who either shared the nativism or racism endemic to turn-of-the century America or were convinced they must cater to it in order to succeed, continued in their attempts to shed the movement's radical image and enlarge their constituency.
ELLEN CAROL DUBOIS (ESSAY DATE 1998)
SOURCE: DuBois, Ellen Carol. "What Made Seneca Falls Possible?" In Remembering Seneca Falls: Honoring the Women Who Paved the Way: An Essay, pp. 4-16.: Boston: The Schlesinger Library for the History of Women, Radcliffe College, 1998.
In the following excerpt, DuBois compares and contrasts the revolutionary nature of the 1848 Seneca Falls convention calling for women's rights with popular democratic revolutions in Europe that same year.
For both the champions and the denigrators of women's rights, the Seneca Falls Woman's Rights Convention of 1848 was of a piece with the revolutionary upheavals of the age. The year 1848 was of wide historical significance, with revolutions in Europe and major social changes, or demands for change, in the United States, not only by women.
In 1848 Elizabeth Blackwell became the first American woman to earn a regular medical degree, and the organized working women of Lowell petitioned the Massachusetts legislature for a ten-hour day; in 1847 Lucy Stone had been the first woman in American history to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. In such an atmosphere, the announcement of a public convention dedicated solely to the rights of women, a development for which there was no precedent in this country or any other, was less startling than it might have been in a year in which history was moving at a less breakneck speed.
The Seneca Falls Woman's Rights Convention can be situated in this broader historical context at three levels. First, the international: 1848 was a year of democratic revolution, particularly in Europe. Second, the national: in 1848, the United States defeated Mexico in a controversial war that would accelerate the struggle over slavery and inaugurate a new era of aggressive American nationalism. The third context is that of New York State, which, earlier in 1848, had passed one of the most advanced married women's property acts of any state. Each of these levels helps us to understand the forces behind and the significance of the Seneca Falls convention.
When historians speak of "the revolutions of 1848," they are referring to popular democratic movements in Germany, France, Italy and Austria. In Germany the revolutions of 1848 led Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to write the Communist Manifesto. The revolutionary movements of 1848 were intent on establishing modern constitutional governments, based on a broad popular franchise that would ensure genuine democracy. The Communist Manifesto captures for us the degree to which these universal democratic hopes were identified with the political ambitions of a particular class, the wage-earning "proletariat." But it was not only workers whose activism fueled the era's grand political dreams.
Women too saw themselves as a revolutionary class, an oppressed group whose political empowerment would lead to social transformation of the most profound sort. In Germany and France especially, groups of women joined the revolutionary ferment and called simultaneously for national democratic revolution and women's rights. Indeed, in the eyes of female revolutionaries, the two were identical: women's rights were not a single issue, a special interest, counterpoised to "men's" revolution. Lucretia Mott, the senior feminist at the Seneca Falls convention, reflecting on the links among the European revolutions, the demand for women's rights, and democratic rumblings among the upstate New York Seneca Indians whom she visited that summer, said
All these subjects of reform are kindred in their nature; and giving to each its proper consideration will tend to strengthen and serve the mind for all.… [The abolitionist] will not love the slave less in loving universal humanity more.1
Americans in general, and women's rights pioneers in particular, were perfectly aware of the revolutionary winds stirring in Europe, and saw their own efforts as a part. "This is the age of revolutions," began the New York Herald's coverage of the Woman's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls. "To whatever part of the world the attention is directed, the political and social fabric is crumbling to pieces; and changes which far exceed the wildest dreams of the enthusiastic Utopians of the last generation, are now pursued with ardor and perseverance."2
In taking their historic initiative, American women's rights pioneers appealed to "the upward tending spirit of the age, busy in an hundred forms of effort for the world's redemption." This was the language used at the first national women's rights convention, held two years after Seneca Falls in Worcester, Massachusetts.3 There, Paulina Wright Davis invoked the unity of women's rights and the era's revolutionary spirit. "The reformation we propose in its utmost scope is radical and universal …," she declared. "It is an epochal movement—the emancipation of a class, the redemption of half the world, and a conforming reorganization of all social, political, and industrial interests and institutions."4
At the Seneca Falls convention, Elizabeth Cady Stanton expressed this same historic sensibility.
A new era is dawning upon the world,… when the millions now under the iron heel of the tyrant will assert their manhood, when woman yielding to the voice of the spirit within her will demand the recognition of her humanity, when her soul, grown too large for her chains, will burst the bands around her set and stand redeemed, regenerated and disenthralled.5
In this challenge to women to burst their chains we hear distinct echoes of Karl Marx's 1848 call to the workers of the world to unite and rise, as they have "nothing to lose but [their] chains." The Communist Manifesto was not available in the United States until 1871, but the similarity is there and reflects the more general influences at work, the spirit of the age and the widespread revolutionary metaphors used in different places by different sorts of visionaries to express it.
In her Seneca Falls speech, Stanton virtually soars on the wings of revolutionary optimism, determined as she is that her sex not only be part of, but indeed help realize, the world historic transformation she feels coming.
While the globe resounds with the tramping of legions who roused from their lethargy are resolved to be free or perish, while old earth reels under the crashing of thrones and the destruction of despotisms,…while the flashing sunlight that breaks over us makes dark so much that men have before revered and shows that to be good that had scarcely been dreamed of …,
she proclaims, and goes on to ask: "shall we the women of this age be content to remain inactive and to move in but a narrow and circumscribed sphere, a sphere which man shall assign us?"6 Not until the abolition of slavery in 1865, when at least one "scarcely dreamed of" aspiration was realized, did Stanton again take to such revolutionary rhetoric.
For all the similarity, there was also a fundamental difference between what began at Seneca Falls and these other revolutions of 1848: steady growth and development for American women, but reaction and repression in Europe, with particularly brutal consequences for women. In France the Provisional Legislature, elected in 1848 without the votes of women, turned in a radically reactionary direction; one of its first acts (passed just two weeks after the Seneca Falls convention) was a law prohibiting women from participating in any political clubs. Pauline Roland and Jeanne Deroin, two of the leading women of the revolution, were soon imprisoned under this law's provisions. In 1851 they wrote from their jail cells in Paris to the Woman's Rights Convention in Worcester that their American sisters'
courageous declaration of Woman's Rights has resounded even to our prison, and has filled our souls with inexpressible joy.7
Undoubtedly American women were favored in their feminist ambitions by the fact that our national democratic upheaval was safely in the past. Indeed, Stanton and her Seneca Falls compatriots were able to rely on the structure and authority of the American Declaration of Independence as the framework for their feminist manifesto, and thus to confer legitimacy on the radical new direction they were taking. Like the thirteen colonies in revolt against the British throne, their declaration proclaimed, women aspired to overthrow another, domestic tyranny, that of their husbands, fathers and brothers. As radical a framework as this was for American feminism, the spirit of revolutionary nationalism that the Seneca Falls women shared with other '48 radicals did not draw upon them, as it did upon their European sisters, the wrath of existing power structures, threatened in their very existence.
Instead of resulting in outright government repression, the Woman's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls inaugurated an orderly and determined process of movement building, limited only by the limits of women's own aspirations and energy. Seneca Falls was followed two weeks later by a second Woman's Rights Convention in Rochester, New York, where the links among democracy, women's rights and the revolutionary labor movement were even clearer; and then by an accelerating flow of local and national conventions, of traveling women's rights agitators and ambitious women's rights newspapers throughout the 1850s. Indeed, the repressions in Europe even benefited the American women's rights movement. European '48ers escaped to the United States, bringing with them their revolutionary élan, their political experience, and such feminists as the German Mathilde Anneke, who spoke on women's rights around the United States throughout the 1850s.
All of this is not to say that American politics were peaceful and harmonious in 1848; they were not, and the tumultuous national political context is fundamental for understanding the when, why and what of the Seneca Falls convention. Five months earlier, in February 1848, the United States won its year-and-a-half long war against Mexico, fought to acquire Mexico's northern territories. The Mexican war was the first American war in which popular passions were aroused on both sides. Pro-war sentiments in the south and west were strong enough to elect Democrat James Polk to the presidency in 1844, and after him a series of soldier/politicians, all sporting their military credentials.
In the northeast, however, sentiment ran against the war. Most memorably, Henry David Thoreau refused to pay his taxes and wrote the essay "Civil Disobedience" to explain his antiwar stance. The women of Seneca Falls, most of them Quakers, were undoubtedly in the same camp. In their article published in the Seneca County Courier soon after the convention, Stanton and her friend Elizabeth McClintock referred several times to "the unjust and cruel war" against Mexico as an example of the unchristian, sinful conduct into which slavery was leading the nation and which the entry of women into politics might help to reverse.8
The consequences of the Mexican war for American politics cannot be overstated. The lands brought into the nation by the war, equal to roughly seventy percent of the territory of the United States at that point, carried with them the inescapable question of the status of slavery there and of the role of the national government in controlling its growth or containment in federally administered lands. In turn, the question of slavery in the territories spurred on efforts to form an effective national antislavery party that could stop the expansion of the "peculiar institution."
The first of these aspiring antislavery parties had been formed in 1840, when abolitionists in the Whig Party withdrew to form the Liberty Party. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was part and parcel of this development. Her cousin Gerrit Smith, the man most influential in turning her into a reformer, was one of the Liberty Party's founders. Henry Stanton was deeply involved in the schism of the antislavery movement from which the Liberty Party emerged. Indeed, he and Elizabeth made the snap decision to marry in May 1840, immediately after the new party was formed. Sailing to London for their impromptu honeymoon, a fellow passenger was James Birney, who had just been chosen to run for president on the Liberty Party ticket that November.
"I like him very much," Elizabeth wrote Gerrit Smith from England, "though he lectures me occasionally through Henry for my want of discretion."9
Four years later, a second antislavery party was formed, this one split from the Democratic Party. The Free Soil Party was much more powerful than the Liberty Party, garnering ten percent of the popular vote in 1848 and draining enough support from the Democrats to elect a Whig president, Zachary Taylor. Here Stanton's link was even more intimate: her husband Henry was one of the founders of the Free Soil Party and indeed was off speaking on its behalf in late July. The town of Seneca Falls was a Free Soil hotbed, and throughout the spring and summer of 1848 Free Soil conventions were held in upstate New York from Utica to Buffalo, involving some of the same people who attended the Woman's Rights Convention. One historian of Seneca Falls calculates that, of the twenty-six local families with members attending the Woman's Rights Convention, eighteen were actively involved in the Free Soil movement.10
What is the significance of all this political activity for the women of Seneca Falls, who after all could not vote? But of course their disfranchisement was becoming exactly the point. Throughout the 1830s, the abolitionist movement had steered clear of party politics, resting all its faith on "moral suasion." Deeply religious and un-tainted by male politics, abolitionism in this period was very inviting to women. Foremost among these women were the passionate Christian abolitionist feminists Sarah and Angelina Grimké. Sexual equality as the Grimkés perceived and preached it in the 1830s was fundamentally a matter of morality: as they put it,
Whatsoever is right for a man to do, it right for a woman to do.
The authors of History of Woman Suffrage wrote that "above all other causes of the 'Woman Suffrage Movement,' was the Anti-Slavery struggle in this country … so clearly taught, that the women who crowded to listen, readily learned the lesson of freedom for themselves" and so "the double battle to fight against the tyranny of sex and color" was launched.11
When the abolitionists began to turn from moral suasion to political action, however, women's participation was thrown into crisis. Party politics was a male environment, where women were not welcome and few wished to go, and where the franchise was fiercely guarded as the ultimate symbol of American manhood. If women were to continue to play a major battle against slavery, they would have to take an even more dramatic step out of their foreordained sphere than the Grimkés had in 1838 when they became public lecturers "to promiscuous assemblies"12 and spoke on subjects "about which ladies should not know." Women would have to demand "the sacred right of the elective franchise," the cornerstone of American democratic claims. Few women were willing to enter this particular territory.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, student and protégé of female abolitionists Lucretia Mott and the Grimkés, wife of one political abolitionist, Henry Stanton, and kinswoman of another, Gerrit Smith, took this step of extending the vision of sexual equality to the political realm.
So long as we are to be governed by human laws, I should be unwilling to have the making and administering of those laws left entirely to the selfish and unprincipled part of the community,
she had written in 1842.13 The Woman's Rights Convention of 1848 and the Declaration of Sentiments that it passed, including the much debated ninth resolution in favor of woman suffrage, were the result of her conviction that social change must ultimately be won through politics and that women committed to making social change need political equality.
- A word for the poor Indians. The few hundreds left of the Seneca Nation at the Cataraugus reservation are improving in their mode of living, cultivating their land, and educating their children. They, too, are learning somewhat from the political agitations abroad: and, as man is wont, are imitating the movements of France and all Europe in seeking larger liberty—more independence. Their Chieftainship is therefore a subject of discussion in their councils, and important changes are demanded and expected, as to the election of their chief, many being prepared for a yearly appointment. "Letter from Lucretia Mott," Liberator, 6 October 1848.
- Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage, eds., History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 1 (Rochester, N.Y.: Susan B. Anthony, 1881), 805.
- Ibid., 221.
- Ibid., 222.
- Anthony, ed. Ann D. Gordon (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1997), 115
- Ibid., 116.
- HWS [History of Woman Suffrage], vol. 1, 234
- ECS and Elizabeth W. McClintock to the editors, Seneca County Courier, [after 23 July 1848], The Selected Papers …, 88-94.
- ECS to Gerrit Smith, 3 August , The Selected Papers …, 16.
- Judith Wellman, "The Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention: A Study of Social Network," Journal of Women's History 3, no. 1 (1991):23.
- HWS, vol. 1, 52 and 53.
- Ibid., 52 and 53.
- ECS to Elizabeth Pease, The Selected Papers …, 30. (Elizabeth Cady Stanton)