FINALLY, WOMEN HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE!
Join Us Today by Reading or Listening to the Declaration of Sentiments...
...The Declaration of Sentiments was the initial document that described the circumstances leading to the need for woman's rights, in general, and for woman's suffrage in particular.
Women’s right to vote is 102 years old. What a special day!
On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th and final state legislature that voted to ratify the 19th amendment. At that time, there were 48 states and ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment required that three-fourths of the states ... 36 ... had to vote in favor of the amendment.
In a previous blog, I wrote about Harry Burn, the man who changed his vote from "nay" to "aye" and made Tennessee the 36th state. Why did he change his vote? It was all because of a letter from his mother. Click here to read about Harry and his mother's influence. We all want more mothers like this!
And if you want to read more about the states that ratified and those that didn't, Click Here.
The Road to Success was Long...
...really long! This road to the successful outcome -- the road to women finally having the right to vote -- began 174 years ago on July 17th and July 18 of 1848 when five women convened the Woman Rights Convention (now called the Seneca Falls Convention).
Declaration of Sentiments
At the convention, the statement of purpose and action was called the Declaration of Sentiments. It was written primarily by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and was based on the Declaration of Independence. Click on the video to the right to see Elizabeth through the decades.
Listen to the Declaration of Sentiments
If You Want to Listen to the Powerful Call to Action...
...Click on the video below if you'd like to hear the Declaration of Sentiments...words directly from 1848. If you would rather read the document, scroll down.
Read the Declaration of Sentiments
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course.
We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women 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; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they were accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled.
The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.
To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.
He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.
He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men - both natives and foreigners.
Having deprived her of this first right as a citizen, the elective franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.
He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.
He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.
He has made her morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband.
In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master - the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement.
He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes of divorce, in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given; as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of the women - the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of man, and giving all power into his hands.
After depriving her of all rights as a married woman, if single and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.
He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, and from those she is permitted to follow, she receives but a scanty remuneration.
He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and distinction, which he considers most honorable to himself.
As a teacher of theology, medicine, or law, she is not known. He has denied her the facilities for obtaining a thorough education - all colleges being closed against her.
He allows her in church, as well as State, but a subordinate position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the Church.
He has created a false public sentiment by giving to the world a different code of morals for men and women, by which moral delinquencies which exclude women from society, are not only tolerated but deemed of little account in man.
He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as his right to assign for her a sphere of action, when that belongs to her conscience and her God.
He has endeavored, in every way that he could to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.
Now, in view of this entire disenfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation, - in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States.
In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object.
We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the State and national Legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and the press in our behalf.
We hope this Convention will be followed by a series of Conventions, embracing every part of the country.
Firmly relying upon the final triumph of the Right and the True, we do this day affix our signatures to this declaration.
Order of signatures by 100 of the attendees
(68 women and 32 men)
Harriet Cady Eaton, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s sister
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Eunice Newton Foote
Mary Ann M’Clintock
Martha C. Wright
Jane C. Hunt
Catherine F. Stebbins
Mary Ann Frink
Lydia Hunt Mount
••Catharine V. Paine
Elizabeth W. M'Clintock - Mary Ann M’Clintock’s daughter
Malvina Beebe Seymour
Mary M'Clintock - Mary Ann M’Clintock’s daughter
Mary H. Hallowell
Mary S. Mirror
Julia Ann Drake
Martha Underhill - her nephew also signed
Sarah R. Woods
Rachel D. Bonnel
Susan R. Doty
Sarah A. Mosher
Mary E. Vail - Lydia Mount’s daughter
Maria E. Wilbur
Elizabeth D. Smith
Antoinette E. Segur
Hannah J. Latham - Lavinia Latham’s daughter
"…the gentlemen present in favor of this new movement":
Richard P. Hunt - Jane C. Hunt’s husband and brother of Lydia Mount and Hannah Plant
Samuel D. Tillman
Elisha Foote - Eunice Newton Foote’s husband
Henry W. Seymour - Malvina Beebe Seymour’s husband
David Spalding - Lucy Spalding’s husband
William G. Barker
Elias J. Doty
William S. Dell - Rachel Dell Bonnel’s uncle
James Mott- Lucretia Mott’s husband
Charles L. Hoskins
Thomas M’Clintock - Mary Ann M’Clintock’s husband
Jacob Chamberlain - later a member of the US House of Representatives
Nathan J. Milliken
Edward F. Underhill - Martha Barker Underhill’s nephew
George W. Pryor - Margaret Pryor’s son
Isaac Van Tassel
Thomas Dell - William S. Dell’s son and Rachel Dell Bonnel’s cousin
Azaliah Schooley - Margaret Schooley’s husband.
It Pays To Be Young...
••Catharine V. Paine was 18 years old in 1848 when she signed the Declaration of Sentiments. Then 37 years later, she registered as Catherine Paine Blaine to vote in Seattle in 1885 after Washington Territory extended voting rights to women in 1883. This makes her the first signer of the Declaration of Sentiments to legally register to vote.
••Charlotte Woodward was also 18 in 1848 when she signed the Declaration of Sentiments. She is the only signer who lived to see the 19th amendment pass. Unfortunately she was seriously ill and never got to vote.
••Rhoda Palmer in 1918 became the ONLY female signer to get to vote legally when New York passed female suffrage.
Take Your Right to Vote Seriously...
...they did. When you see the long and arduous path to secure women the right to vote, it helps us recognize the importance of our vote. We urge you to vote this year, and every year.
Want to Celebrate the Seneca Falls Convention?
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Want to Get a 10% Discount on 6-Pack of VOTES FOR WOMEN Buttons?
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Here's a GREAT PARTY FAVOR SET! We hope you'll check it out. We researched the authentic font used in the early 1910s by suffragists when they marched and spoke. This 6-pack of gold buttons are fun as favors or to share with friends. Wear one to a party, wear one to work, wear one when you trick-or-treat, wear one when you vote.
However, you use them, it's all good.