The Seneca Falls Convention — the first convention for women's rights — began on this date in 1848. It was organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her friend Lucretia Mott. They had been getting together frequently to talk about the abuses they suffered as women, and they finally decided to have a public meeting to discuss the status of women in society.
Just a few days before the meeting, Stanton took the Declaration of Independence as her model and drafted what she titled a Declaration of Sentiments, calling for religious, economical, and political equality and which said, "The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman." Elizabeth Cady Stanton read the declaration and then made a radical suggestion, that the document should also demand a woman's right to vote.
At that time, no women were allowed to vote anywhere on the planet. And many of the other women there objected to the idea. They thought it was impossible.
Reaction to the convention in the press and the pulpit was mostly negative.
The Oneida Whig wrote: "This bolt is the most shocking and unnatural incident ever recorded in the history of womanhood. If our ladies will insist on voting and legislating, where, gentlemen, will be our dinners and our elbows? Where our domestic firesides and the holes in our stockings?"
Philadelphia's Public Ledger and Daily Transcript declared: "A woman is nobody. A wife is everything. The ladies of Philadelphia [...] are resolved to maintain their rights as Wives, Belles, Virgins and Mothers."
Seventy-two years later, women would be granted the right to vote. Only one of the signers of the original Declaration of Sentiments was still living at the time.
It took 72 years. Let this be our inspiration to NEVER GIVE UP, REGARDLESS OF WHAT OUR GOALS MAY BE!
Text above via The Writer's Almanac, 7/19/2013; photos via Google.