Elizabeth Cady Stanton First Delivered Her Declaration of Sentiments to

Elizabeth Cady Stanton First Delivered Her Declaration of Sentiments to

Laboring for the Crusade of Women’s Rights

On January 18, 1892, women’s activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton delivered a speech titled “The Solitude of Self” before the House Judiciary Committee on Women’southward Suffrage. The oration, now lauded as “the finest argument of her feminist credo,” [1] was followed by testimony from Stanton’south close friend and colleague, Susan B. Anthony. Seventy-6-year-old Elizabeth Stanton had originally written the address equally her statement of resignation from the presidency of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The House convened impromptu hearings concerning women’s suffrage, however, and Stanton’due south presence was required. That equal rights exist meted to all citizens the seasoned suffragist did not implore, just rather gently observed, “To refuse political equality is to rob the ostracized of all self-respect; of credit in the marketplace; of recompense in the world of work, of a voice in choosing those was make and administer the law . . . we ask for the complete development of every private, get-go, for his own happiness . . . [and] for the general expert.” [2]

Elizabeth Stanton had campaigned for women’s rights, and specifically for suffrage, for more 40 years. In 1848 she had delivered her moving “Announcement of Sentiments” at the very outset “feminist” convention at Seneca Falls, New York. Peattie admired Stanton and wrote of her and other women involved in politics, in improver to voicing her ain political views. The end of the nineteenth century was an era during which the rights of many marginalized groups were re-evaluated, including those of the laboring classes and women. Women were not permitted to vote or participate in the legislative procedure yet were still obligated to pay taxes on whatsoever property they might possess. In addition, a woman’s children were not considered legally hers but were regarded the sole belongings of her husband. In almost all divorce cases, fathers received complete custody of the couple’s offspring. Moreover, social barriers too hindered women from pursuing advanced educations, joining the ministry, and obtaining a wide range of jobs.

In her daily editorials, Peattie sought to enhance her readership’due south awareness concerning women’s rights bug besides equally the rights of other devoiced socio-economical groups. She praised May Wright Sewall’s work every bit 1 of the 5 founding members of the National Council of Women of the U.s.a., which was established in 1888 in the visitor of boyfriend members Frances Willard and Susan B. Anthony. [3] “The women in this gild stand for such things as equal pay for men and women for equal work; for patriotic educational activity in the public schools and elsewhere; for reform in the divorce laws; for reform in dress; for social purity . . . and higher up all for the education of women.” [four]

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Mary Charter, another object of Peattie’s writing, was a rather infamous figure in nineteenth century politics. She campaigned vigorously for farmers’ rights on behalf of the Populists, known officially every bit the People’s Party. Charter was an orator of great reputation and every year delivered hundreds of Populist “stump” speeches equally she traveled to visit communities of struggling farmers.

Mary Elizabeth Lease was born in Pennsylvania in 1853 and attended school in New York. When she was twenty she moved to Kansas, became a schoolteacher in the parochial school at the Osage Mission, and was married. Afterward she raised 4 children while simultaneously schooling herself in the Law. Charter later explained that her reading would necessitate “pinning sheets of notes to a higher place [the] wash tub to study” equally she “scrubbed the washings” in social club to earn l cents a twenty-four hour period. [5] She was successful in her endeavor, nevertheless, and was admitted to the Kansas Bar in 1885. Elia Peattie in one case wrote of her, “Mrs. Lease practiced law in Wichita before she went into politics . . . with her assertive eloquence and her hypnotic powers, she stands a run a risk of getting almost anything she wants—and Mrs. Charter wants a swell deal. [half dozen]

Lease was credited with coining the phrase, “raise less corn and more hell,” although the saying was actually the creation of a swain lecturer. She later on commented that she had “let the comment stand up, when it was attributed to her, because she thought information technology was ‘a correct good piece of advice’.” [7] The speaker’southward vocalism distinguished her and brought her much acclaim. Ane man described it as “a golden voice—deep, rich contralto, a singing vocalisation that had hypnotic qualities. . . . She put into her oratory something which the printed copies . . . did not reveal. They were tedious enough frequently, but she could recite the multiplication tabular array and set a crowd hooting and hurrahing at her will.” [8] Charter similarly won over the crowd during an accost to the Christian Temperance Marriage, when she designated their present solar day every bit a critical intellectual moment in history:

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For . . . one-time ideas, traditions and customs take broken loose from their moorings and are hopelessly adrift on the great shoreless, boundless sea of human being thought—a time when the gray sometime world begins to dimly embrace that there is no difference between the encephalon of an intelligent woman and the brain of an intelligent human . . . We are living in an age of thought; men, women and children are in mayhem, discussing the mighty problems of the solar day. The agricultural classes, loyal and patriotic, slow to deed and dull to think, are to-day thinking for themselves; and their thought has crystallized into action. [9]

Wrote one journalist, “Her speeches are philippics. She hurls sentences equally Jove hurled thunderbolts.” [10]

Peattie too defended the character of Frances Willard, suffragist and prison reformer, in “A Discussion to the Women.” “Miss Willard is a natural leader,” she wrote. “All things seem pocket-sized to her compared with the cause which she has espoused.” [11] Peattie both admired and followed the acclaimed political figures of her day, such as Stanton, Sewall, and Lease. Information technology seems that Peattie could likewise encounter, even so, mirrored in the actions of the common men and women she herself lived amid, an ever-brightening vision of the just gild all dreamed would follow. “It requires organized religion and optimism to view without apprehension any farther enlightenment and liberation of the race, for such . . . inevitably brings with it further complication. Only there are men and women with true hearts, clear minds, and backbone firm who practice not fear. For perfect freedom is a office of development—the acme of information technology, perhaps, and toward information technology they trend, drifting with God’s smashing purpose, unafraid.” [12]

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Read Peattie’s Writings

  • The Women and Politics
  • A Word With the Women


“1896: Mary E. Lease.” http://projects.vassar.edu/1896/lease.html.

Clanton, O. Gene.
Kansas Collection: Kansas Historical Quarterlies. “Intolerant Populist: The Disaffection of Mary Elizabeth Lease.” http://www.kancoll.org/khq/1968/68_2_clanton.htm.

Clugston, William G.
Rascals of Republic: A Case Study in Popular Government. New York: R.R. Smith, 1940.

Diggs, Annie Fifty. “The Women in the Alliance Move,”
Loonshit, July 1892.

“History is a Weapon: Speech to the Christian Temperance Marriage.” http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/marylease2.html.

Peattie, Elia. “A Word With the Women,”
Omaha World-Herald. 11/xviii/1894: eighteen.

—. “A Word With the Women.”
Omaha World-Herald. v/22/95: 8.

—. “A Word With the Women.”
Omaha World-Herald. 6/12/95: viii.

—. “A Word With the Women.”
Omaha Globe-Herald. half-dozen/24/95: viii.

Ravitch, Diane, ed.
The American Reader: Words That Moved A Nation. New York: Harper Perennial, 2000.

The National Council of the Women of the United States, Inc. http://www.ncw-us.org/mission-argument.html.


Elizabeth Cady Stanton, seated, and Susan B. Anthony, continuing, three-quarter length portrait. Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/pictures/particular/97500087/resource/.

Mary Elizabeth Lease, Lecturer. Kansas Collection: Kansas Historical Quarterlies. http://www.kancoll.org/khq/1968/68_2_clanton.htm.

May Wright Sewall. Photo from the Records of the National Women’s Party: Library of Congress. http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/.


1 Ravitch, 347.   [dorsum to text]

two Ravitch, 350.   [back to text]

3 “National Council.”   [back to text]

4 Peattie “Word” 11/viii/94: 18.   [back to text]

five Clugton, 92.   [back to text]

6 Peattie “Word” 5/22/95: 8.   [back to text]

7 “1896.”   [back to text]

8 Clanton.   [back to text]

ix “History.”   [dorsum to text]

10 Diggs.   [back to text]

xi Peattie “Discussion” 6/24/95: 8.   [back to text]

12 Peattie “Give-and-take” 6/24/95: 8.   [dorsum to text]

XML: ep.owh.pol.0002.xml

Elizabeth Cady Stanton First Delivered Her Declaration of Sentiments to

Source: http://plainshumanities.unl.edu/peattie/ep.owh.pol.0002.html