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Declaration of Sentiments

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Declaration of Sentiments, also known as the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments,[1] is a document signed in 1848 by 68 women and 32 men—100 out of some 300 attendees at the first women's rights convention to be organized by women. Held in Seneca Falls, New York, the convention is now known as the Seneca Falls Convention. The principal author of the Declaration was Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who modeled it upon the United States Declaration of Independence. She was a key organizer of the convention along with Lucretia Coffin Mott, and Martha Coffin Wright.

According to the North Star, published by Frederick Douglass, whose attendance at the convention and support of the Declaration helped pass the resolutions put forward, the document was the "grand movement for attaining the civil, social, political, and religious rights of women."[2][3]

At a time when traditional roles were still very much in place, the Declaration caused much controversy. Many people respected the courage and abilities behind the drafting of the document, but were unwilling to abandon their morals. An article in the Oneida Whig published soon after the convention described the document as "the most shocking and unnatural event ever recorded in the history of womanity." Many newspapers insisted that the Declaration was drafted at the expense of women's more appropriate duties. At a time when temperance and female property rights were major issues, even many supporters of women's rights believed the Declaration's endorsement of women's suffrage would hinder the nascent women's rights movement, causing it to lose much needed public support.

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Transcription

Contents

Opening paragraphs

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 powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these rights, 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 are 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 usurpation 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.[4]

Sentiments

  • He has not ever 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 her from 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 a 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.

Closing remarks

Now, in view of this entire disfranchisement 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.

Signers

Signers of the Declaration at Seneca Falls in order:[5]

  1. Lucretia Mott
  2. Harriet Cady Eaton - sister of Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  3. Margaret Pryor (1785-1874) - Quaker reformer
  4. Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  5. Eunice Newton Foote
  6. Mary Ann M'Clintock (1800-1884) - Quaker reformer, half-sister of Margaret Pryor
  7. Margaret Schooley
  8. Martha C. Wright (1806–75) - Quaker reformer, sister of Lucretia Mott
  9. Jane C. Hunt
  10. Amy Post
  11. Catherine F. Stebbins
  12. Mary Ann Frink
  13. Lydia Hunt Mount - well-off Quaker widow
  14. Delia Matthews
  15. Catharine C. Paine
  16. Elizabeth W. M'Clintock - daughter of Mary Ann M'Clintock. She invited Frederick Douglass to attend.
  17. Malvina Beebe Seymour
  18. Phebe Mosher
  19. Catherine Shaw
  20. Deborah Scott
  21. Sarah Hallowell
  22. Mary M'Clintock - daughter of Mary Ann M'Clintock[6]
  23. Mary Gilbert
  24. Sophrone Taylor
  25. Cynthia Davis
  26. Hannah Plant
  27. Lucy Jones
  28. Sarah Whitney
  29. Mary H. Hallowell
  30. Elizabeth Conklin
  31. Sally Pitcher
  32. Mary Conklin
  33. Susan Quinn
  34. Mary S. Mirror
  35. Phebe King
  36. Julia Ann Drake
  37. Charlotte Woodward (c.1830-1921) - the only signer who lived to see the 19th amendment though illness apparently prevented her from ever voting.[7]
  38. Martha Underhill - her nephew also signed
  39. Eunice Barker
  40. Sarah R. Woods
  41. Lydia Gild
  42. Sarah Hoffman
  43. Elizabeth Leslie
  44. Martha Ridley
  45. Rachel D. Bonnel (1827-1909)
  46. Betsey Tewksbury
  47. Rhoda Palmer (1816-1919) - the only woman signer who ever legally voted, in 1918 when New York passed female suffrage.[8]
  48. Margaret Jenkins
  49. Cynthia Fuller
  50. Mary Martin
  51. P.A. Culvert
  52. Susan R. Doty
  53. Rebecca Race (1808-1895)
  54. Sarah A. Mosher
  55. Mary E. Vail - daughter of Lydia Mount
  56. Lucy Spalding
  57. Lavinia Latham (1781-1859)
  58. Sarah Smith
  59. Eliza Martin
  60. Maria E. Wilbur
  61. Elizabeth D. Smith
  62. Caroline Barker
  63. Ann Porter
  64. Experience Gibbs
  65. Antoinette E. Segur
  66. Hannah J. Latham - daughter of Lavinia Latham
  67. Sarah Sisson
    The following men signed, under the heading "…the gentlemen present in favor of this new movement":
  68. Richard P. Hunt (1796-1856) - husband of Jane C. Hunt, brother of Lydia Mount and Hannah Plant, all also signers
  69. Samuel D. Tillman
  70. Justin Williams
  71. Elisha Foote - spouse of Eunice Newton Foote
  72. Frederick Douglass
  73. Henry W. Seymour - spouse of Malvina Beebe Seymour, a signer
  74. Henry Seymour
  75. David Spalding - spouse of Lucy Spalding
  76. William G. Barker
  77. Elias J. Doty
  78. John Jones
  79. William S. Dell (1801-1865) - uncle of Rachel Dell Bonnel, a signer
  80. James Mott (1788-1868) - husband of Lucretia Mott
  81. William Burroughs
  82. Robert Smalldridge
  83. Jacob Matthews
  84. Charles L. Hoskins
  85. Thomas M'Clintock - husband of Mary Ann M'Clintock
  86. Saron Phillips
  87. Jacob Chamberlain (1802-1878) - Methodist Episcopal and later a member of the US House of Representatives.
  88. Jonathan Metcalf
  89. Nathan J. Milliken
  90. S.E. Woodworth
  91. Edward F. Underhill (1830-1898) - his aunt was Martha Barker Underhill, a signer
  92. George W. Pryor - son of Margaret Pryor who also signed
  93. Joel Bunker
  94. Isaac Van Tassel
  95. Thomas Dell (1828-1850) - son of William S. Dell and cousin of Rachel Dell Bonnel, both signers.
  96. E.W. Capron
  97. Stephen Shear
  98. Henry Hatley
  99. Azaliah Schooley (Circa 1805-October 24, 1855) Spouse of Margaret Schooley. Born in Lincoln County, Upper Canada, and naturalized as an American citizen in 1837. A resident of Waterloo, New York, and member of the Junius Monthly Meeting. Also had ties to Spiritualist and Abolition Movements.[9] [10]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ Library of Congress. The Learning Page. Lesson Two: Changing Methods and Reforms of the Woman's Suffrage Movement, 1840-1920. "The first convention ever called to discuss the civil and political rights of women...(excerpt)". Retrieved on April 4, 2009.
  2. ^ North Star, July 28, 1848, as quoted in Frederick Douglass on Women's Rights, Philip S. Foner, ed. New York: Da Capo Press, 1992, pp. 49-51; originally published in 1976
  3. ^ Elizabeth Cady Stanton; Susan B. Anthony; Matilda Joslyn Gage; Ida Husted Harper, eds. (1881). History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861. 1. New York: Fowler & Wells. p. 74. 
  4. ^ Modern History Source book: Seneca Falls: The Declaration of Sentiments, 1848
  5. ^ "Signers of the Declaration of Sentiments". National Park Service. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Mary M'Clintock". National Park Service. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "Charlotte Woodward". National Park Service. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Rhoda Palmer". National Park Service. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  9. ^ ""Obituary - Azaliah Schooley."". The Liberator. 23 November 1855. 
  10. ^ Schooley, Azaliah. ""Letter to Isaac Post"". Retrieved June 20, 2018. 

Bibliography

  • "The Rights of Women", The North Star" (July 28, 1848)
  • "Bolting Among the Ladies", Oneida Whig (August 1, 1848)
  • Tanner, John. "Women out of their Latitude" Mechanics' Mutual Protection (1848)
This page was last edited on 14 September 2018, at 17:25
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