Untitled Essay Research Paper I was once — страница 2

  • Просмотров 269
  • Скачиваний 5
  • Размер файла 18

family. I had given birth to three sons in four years, and bore seven children in all, five sons and two daughters. This colored everything that I did, for I was either pregnant or nursing or both during the formative years of the women’s movement. One result was that I learned to use my pen instead of my presence. A second result was that Susan Anthony spent so much time at our house that the children called her “Aunt Susan.” After Henry passed the bar, we lived briefly in Boston before settling permanently at Seneca Falls, New York. From my home in the small town near the Canadian border, the start of the struggle for women’s rights began. Lucretia Mott and I organized the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, along with the draft of the Declaration of

Sentiments. Susan B. Anthony and I grew to be the most intimate of friends and the closest collaborators in the battle for women’s suffrage. Susan and I co-founded the Women’s State Temperance Society for women married to alcoholics. It was in an 1852 meeting of this women’s society that I proposed the right to divorce drunken husbands. The response was outrage, for the very idea of divorce was scandalous, and even the relatively advanced women feared that my radicalism would jeopardize their cause. The chief reason for the miserable state of wives of alcoholics was the lack of married women’s property right. So, in 1854 I made my first major address to the New York legislature on behalf of a bill on this subject. The legislature passed a bill giving married women rights

to their own wages and guardianship of their children. As the Civil War erupted, we moved to New York City. This gave me greater access to the public. Again, I teamed up with Susan B. Anthony and together we headed the Loyal League and collected hundreds of thousands of petitions for a constitutional amendment ending slavery. A secondary benefit was that the league reinforced women’s networks and fundraising abilities. When the war ended, I engaged in what was the biggest of my many leaps. In order to test the Constitution’s gender-neutral wording on candidate eligibility, I ran for Congress in 1866. Of some 12,000 men who casted ballots, only 24 were courageous enough to vote for me. The following year, I made my first major speaking tour. I accompanied Susan B. Anthony to

Kansas for a referendum on the enfranchisement of both ex-slaves and women. We lost the election, but won other support, including financing that allowed us to begin publishing the Revolution in January, 1868. I did most of the writing on women’s issues for the newspaper. I published editorials on jury duty and prostitution as well as some standard topics. But in 1869, the newspaper collapsed in bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Susan and I separated from our longtime associates in the women’s rights movement and we formed the National Women Suffrage Association (NWSA) in 1869. I was the NWSA’s president and Susan Anthony was vice-president. By 1871, I had gone lecturing all the way to California, where western women found my suffrage advocacy less shocking. In addition to suffrage,

my chief lecture point was educational opportunity for girls. The Centennial Exposition brought me to Philadelphia in 1876, and I also made regular trips to Washington to speak on behalf of the federal suffrage amendment. I spent most of the 1880’s working on my book, The History of Woman Suffrage. After Henry’s death in 1887, I spent increasing amounts of time in England with my daughter, Harriot Stanton Blatch. This, in turn, helped spark my interest in the International Council of Women that formed in 1888. My speech there celebrated the fortieth anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention. In that same year, I also attempted to cast a ballot in a case similar to other unsuccessful test of the Fifteenth Amendment. Two years later, the suffrage associations reunited, and I

served as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1890-1892. Though I never attended another suffrage convention after stepping down from the presidency, my days of radical leadership were not over. As the suffrage movement grew increasingly conservative and ineffective, I again turned to the pen rather than the platform. In my eightieth year, I shocked even feminists with the publication of The Woman’s Bible (1895), a carefully researched argument against women’s subordinate position in religion that- like the Revolution- was more reasonable than its inflammatory title implied. Reverend Anna Howard Shaw and others moved a resolution in the 1896 NAWSA convention disassociating the organization from the book, and despite Susan B. Anthony’s