restricted access Women’s Rights Convention, Brinley Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts, October 23–24, 1850
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worcester wr convention, 1850 87 Let us rejoice and be glad that there is so much of this spirit still moving about in society, that this reformation is taught with a zeal and earnestness, with a Christian spirit—which is a spirit of true and earnest protest—that will never cease until Ethiopia shall lift up her hands and the last day approaches when all shall rise, liberty be proclaimed throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof. We may hope, and while there is the spirit of true liberty in the heart, it is impossible to reject it, that while there is suffering, slavery and wrong—not only these but the oppressions which we behold around us more remotely allied to this iniquitous system of slavery, such as the relations of those who are called the employers and laborers—there will be a continual struggle to attain a better state of things. We all ought to be laborers for it is not God’s design that some of us should live in luxury and unbounded indulgence, while others are toiling morning, noon, and night for bread. This ought never to be a subject of thanksgiving or of praise, but blushing and confusion of face, that such is the state of things around us that we are ignorantly partaking to such an extent as tends to perpetuate evil rather than good. These are the subjects of reflection with which my mind has been filled this day, and I offer them to you under a sense of imperative duty, believing that there might be others, intelligent minds not a few present, with whom they may be so received as to lead them to other reflections which shall show the duties that belong to us as individuals, and the awful responsibilities that attach to us to fulfill these duties; and in the fulfillment of them we shall experience that blessed reward, that blessed return (for I would not use the word in the sense in which it has so often been used) of that peace and tranquility which knows no alloy and which flows as the waves of the sea. To J. McKim This sermon completes the series. I have not been as particular as regards rhetoric , grammar etc as I sometimes am, feeling pretty confident that the author would not let them go out without every thing being right. Smedley Darlington [Esq?] Reporter Stenographic Report, Sermons, Mott Manuscripts, FHL 1. Isaac Watts (1674–1748), Divine Songs (1715), Song 4. 2. John C. Calhoun’s speech “On the Slavery Question,” delivered to the Senate on March 4, was reprinted in the Liberator, March 15 and 22, 1850. Women’s Rights Convention, Brinley Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts, October 23–24, 18501 [October 23, Morning Session] MRS. LUCRETIA MOTT suggested whether it would not be well to make some arrangement for the publication of the address of the President. She did not propose to review the sentiments advanced; they would be responded to generally by the friends of reform. There were two or three expressions in the address 88 worcester wr convention, 1850 and in the call for the Convention which she did not fully approve.2 She thought THEY might be construed as a profession of too great gentleness in discussing this subject. She thought they should find it necessary to take an antagonistic position, and to meet the prejudices and opposition of the world with directness and an earnest expression of the truth. They must attach blame to those who had persisted so long in depriving woman of her rights, in passing laws which deny her the control of her property and place her beyond the pale and protection of equal laws. She said they must mourn over the admitted inferiority of woman; over her slavish subjection to the evil customs and prejudices of society. It was not strange, after so long a period of degradation, she should be enervated and contented with her inferior position. She desired that we might speak with the earnestness and severity of the truth—with an earnestness and severity that should make the ears of man tingle for the degraded position in which he has kept woman during so many ages, and especially under the influences of the religion and teachings of the Son of God. [October 23, Evening Session] MRS. LUCRETIA MOTT said: The language of those who favor our cause implies a degree of kindness when they speak of giving us our rights, permitting us...