Tag Archives: Women’s History
michigan-women

Michigan Woman Want to Vote (1880)

Women’s Reasons for Desiring to Vote
National Citizen and Ballot Box – July 1880

The work of reading these thousands of postals and letters and selecting from among them for publication, has required the labor of two persons over two weeks, and a portion of this time three persons were engaged upon it. Although but comparatively a small portion of them has been given, they form a very remarkable, unique, instructive and valuable addition to the literature and history of woman suffrage.

They not only show the growth of liberty in the hearts of women, but they point out the causes of this growth. Each letter, each postal, carries its own tale of tyrannous oppression, and each woman who reads, will find her courage and her convictions strengthened. Let every woman who receives this paper religiously preserve it for future reference. Let those who say that women do not want to vote, look at the unanimity with which women in each and every state, declare that they do wish to vote,—that they are oppressed because they cannot vote—that they deem themselves capable of making the laws by which they are governed, and of ruling themselves in every way.

These letters are warm from the heart, but they tell tales of injustice and wrong that chill the reader’s blood. They show a growing tendency among women to right their own wrongs, as women have ofttimes in ages before chosen their own ways to do. Greece with its tales of Medea and Clytemnestra; Rome and the remembrance of Tofania and her famous water; southern France of more modern times all carry warning to legal domestic tyrants.

Regards,

Matilda Joslyn Gage

  • The State Department of Michigan, six names, send congratulations and believe that “taxation without representation” is the basest tyranny.
  • The W. S. A. of Big Rapids, addresses a letter to National Nominating Convention asking for an amendment to the constitution. Lucy F. Morehouse, Prest. W. S. A. and twenty-eight others.
  • The Frankfort N. W. S. A. appointed a committee of three to canvass the town and ascertain the opinion of the women on the suffrage question, which committees after a thorough canvass are enabled to submit the following report, and appended names in favor, viz: 111 in favor, 28 approved, 21 indifferent.—Mrs. S. M. Harden, Ch. of Com. Frankfort.
  • The following reasons come from Decatur Mich.:—It is my belief that woman by the use of the ballot could prohibit intemperance. —MRS. G. H. THOMPSON.
  • I believe in woman suffrage because it is our inherent right. MRS. H. N. HOPKINS.
  • I am in favor of woman suffrage because it is woman’s right.—MRS. ELVIRA M. HOPKINS.
  • We are obliged to obey laws and it is only right that we should have a voice in electing our law-makers.—SADIE LUMBARD.
  • I want to vote because I believe it to be a right, because it would increase the power for good which I wish to exercise, because it would greatly advance all moral reforms and do much to bring about “peace and good will to men.”—MRS. H. UPTON.
  • Representation or no taxation.—MRS. MARTHA P. KENDALL.
  • One reason why I think women should vote is, as a general rule I believe they would vote for sober and virtuous rulers, and when we have such rulers the people will not mourn as they now do.—MISS A. TROWBRIDGE.
  • I pay taxes, therefore think I have a right to vote.—MRS. L. M. BURNEY.
  • Statesmen without whiskey.—LUCINDA BENNETT.
This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Newspapers Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily, The Revolution, and the National Citizen and Ballot Box.

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Woman’s Great Needs in The Lily, October 1856

This essay by Mrs. E. P. F. B. of Michigan appeared in the October 1856 issue of The Lily.

Published in Seneca Falls, New York and priced at 50 cents a year, The Lily began as a temperance journal for “home distribution” among members of the Seneca Falls Ladies Temperance Society. Although women’s exclusion from membership in temperance societies and other reform activities was the main force behind the The Lily, it was not initially a radical paper.

The editor, Amelia Bloomer, was greatly influenced by Stanton and gradually became a convert to the cause of women’s rights. She also became interested in dress reform, advocating that women wear the outfit that came to be known as the “Bloomer costume.”

Woman’s Great Needs

A self-sustaining Independence is the great good which is to emancipate woman — mental, moral, physical independence. She must assert her right to self, that God-given right which it is a blasphemy to desecrate. Until she respects this right, and successfully defends it, she will be the humble victim of abused power — a hopeless, helpless slave.

We talk of purity? There can be no purity without freedom. We may have a forced chastity — a forced purity never.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Newspapers Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily, The Revolution, and the National Citizen and Ballot Box.

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Women-1880

Strong Women Past and Present

The National Citizen and Ballot Box was a monthly journal deeply involved in the roots of the American feminist movement. It was owned and edited by Matilda Joslyn Gage, American women’s rights advocate, who helped to lead and publicize the suffrage movement in the United States.

This recurring segment highlighted the strength and influence of women in the past. This list is from the December 1880 issue.

Women Past and Present

ALLAQUIPPA was a celebrated savage queen residing near Pittsburg, Pa., before the Revolution. Washington is said to have called upon her when a young subaltern of the English army he was sent out to ascertain the designs of the French. Her name has been preserved in a countryseat near Pittsburg.

Miss Delia Bacon

Miss Delia Bacon

MISS DELIA BACON, a highly intellectual and eloquent woman, was the first to call in question the authorship of the plays ascribed to Shakspeare. Some twenty-five years ago she made her public appearance in Boston as a lecturer on history. Graceful and dignified in bearing, a fine reader and speaker, lecturing entirely without notes, she produced a marked impression in Boston and Cambridge. In course of her historical studies she became thoroughly convinced that Lord Bacon was the author of the plays attributed to Shakspear. In search of proof she visited England, remaining a year at St. Albans, where Lord Bacon lived in retirement, and where she supposed he wrote those matchless plays. She passed through many humiliations in behalf of her work, and poverty so great that she wrote in bed in order to keep warm, being unable to pay for fire. Hawthorne, then consul at Liverpool, helped her secure the publication of her book. It brought her a storm of abuse and adverse criticism, which following so closely upon her prolonged and exhausting literary labor, drove her insane. She was brought back to America where she soon died. But the theory she started as to the real authorship of Shakspeare’s plays, did not die with her. It has ever since continued to be the most interesting of all literary discussions; the authorship of the Junius letters pales before it. Miss Bacon, during her stay in England, wished, despite the curse, to open Shakspeare’s grave, believing she would there find the most convincing proof as to the authorship of these world renowned literary gems, but this she was not permitted to do. But the doubt she threw upon their Shakspearian authenticity is perennial. In the August Appleton’s Journal, Mr. Appleton Morgan, in a scholarly and convincing article, sustained Miss Bacon’s views. He deems it impossible that Shakspeare could have written the plays, and unhesitatingly ascribes their authorship, where Miss Bacon placed it, i. e., with Lord Francis Bacon.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Newspapers Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily, The Revolution, and the National Citizen and Ballot Box.

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Universal Suffrage and an Earnest Zeal for the Right

Sarah A. Talbot’s letter was published in The Revolution on November 4, 1871, almost fifty years before women won the right to vote throughout the country.

To the Editor of the Revolution:

What the cause of Universal Suffrage most needs, is the co-operation of both sexes to improve the condition of humanity everywhere by manifesting an earnest zeal for the right, and a strong determination to oppose wrong in all its forms. The ministration of good women is needed in our jails and asylums. Their influence is particularly required in the temperance cause and in the cure of the social evil.

I sometimes ask myself will the women of America, when admitted to the ballot, have the courage to attack these monster evils? When I heard Susan B. Anthony hissed while in the act of uttering wholesome but unpalatable truths to a Sin Francisco audience, I realized as never before what the women of this land might expect if they dared attack the evils of society! 

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Elizabeth Cady Stanton on Slavery in America

This speech was given during the Twenty-seventh Anniversary of the American Anti-Slavery Society at the Cooper Institute in 1860. The large hall was well filled at the commencement of the exercises, and before the close of the session the number was largely increased, the hall being nearly full.

Mrs. Stanton, on rising, was greeted with loud and hearty applause. She read the following resolution, as containing the thought which she was anxious to urge upon the attention of those whom she was about to address.

Resolved, That the crowning excellence and glory of the anti-slavery enterprise is that, while its first grand design is the redemption of the Ethiopian of the South from chattel bondage, it is also, through the genius and power of Eternal Truth, liberating and elevating universal humanity above all the behests of custom, creed, conventionalism or constitution, wherever they usurp unrighteous authority over the individual soul; and thus, while our first care is the emancipation of the Southern slave, we are, under the Divine economy, at the same time working out our own salvation, and hastening the triumph of Love and Liberty over all forms of oppression and cruelty, throughout the earth.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Address (Abridged)

MR. PRESIDENT, AND GENTLEMEN AND LADIES: This is generally known as the platform of one idea—that is negro slavery. In a certain sense this may be true, but the most casual observation of this whole anti-slavery movement, of your lives, conventions, public speeches and journals, shows this one idea to be a great humanitarian one. The motto of your leading organ, “The world is my country and all mankind my countrymen,” proclaims the magnitude and universality of this one idea, which takes in the whole human family, irrespective of nation, color, caste or sex, with all their interests, temporal and spiritual—a question of religion, philanthropy, political economy, commerce, education and social life, on which depends the very existence of this republic, of the state, of the family, the sacredness of the lives and property of Northern freemen, the holiness of the marriage relation, and the perpetuity of the Christian religion. Such are the various phases of the question you are wont to debate in your conventions.

But in settling the question of the negro’s rights, we find out the exact limits of our own, for rights never clash or interfere; and where no individual in a community is denied his rights, the mass are the more perfectly protected in theirs; for whenever any class is subject to fraud or injustice, it shows that the spirit of tyranny is at work, and no one can tell where or how or when the infection will spread. The health of the body politic depends on the sound condition of every member. Let but the finest nerve or weakest muscle be diseased, and the whole man suffers; just so the humblest and most ignorant citizen cannot be denied his rights without deranging the whole system of government.

National Anti-Slavery Standard was the official weekly newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society, an abolitionist society founded in 1833 by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan to spread their movement across the nation with printed materials. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often addressed meetings at its New York City headquarters.
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