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west chester wr convention, 1852 93 1. R. N. Havens, vice-president of the Prison Association, acknowledged Hopper’s “simple but firm character . . . and of the practical benefit he had conferred on discharged convicts” (Pennsylvania Freeman, May 27, 1852). 2. Hopper had died on May 7, 1852. His antislavery activities had begun in the 1790s, and he had been disowned by the New York Monthly Meeting in 1841 for publishing antislavery articles critical of fellow Quakers, particularly George F. White, in the National Anti-Slavery Standard (Faulkner, 120; Palmer, 94, 104). Women’s Rights Convention, Horticultural Hall, West Chester, Pennsylvania, June 2–3, 1852 [June 2, Morning Session] LUCRETIA MOTT addressed the Convention, briefly referring to the importance of the movement and expressing her gratification on seeing the response given to the call, by the great number of persons assembled. She saw before her not only a large delegation from the immediate vicinity, but a goodly number from other and distant States. The movement for the enfranchisement of Woman was indeed making rapid progress. Since the first Convention held at Seneca Falls, in 1848, where a few women assembled, and notwithstanding their ignorance of Parliamentary modes of conducting business, promulgated these principles, which took deep root, and are already producing important results, other large Conventions have been held in different places, which have done much towards disseminating the great principles of equality between the sexes; and a spirit of earnest inquiry has been aroused. She referred to the fact that the agitation commenced in those States most distinguished for intellectual and moral culture—that we in Pennsylvania were ready to embrace their views on this subject, and she trusted that the Convention now assembled would be neither less interesting nor less efficient than those which have been already held. [June 2, Afternoon Session] MRS. MOTT spoke of the great change in public opinion, within her recollection , in regard to the so-called sphere of woman. There had been progress. Twenty-five years ago people wondered how a modest girl could attend lectures on botany; but modest girls did attend them, and other places, in former times, frequented only by men; and the result was not a loss of delicacy, but a higher and nobler development,—a truer modesty. She took a hopeful view of the cause, and closed with words of encouragement. [June 3, Morning Session] LUCRETIA MOTT (see 7th Resolution,) thought it important that we should not disclaim the antagonism that woman’s present position rendered it necessary she should assume.1 Too long had wrongs and oppressions existed without an acknowledged wrong-doer and oppressor. It was not until the slaveholder was told, “thou art the man,” that a healthful agitation was brought about. Woman is 94 west chester wr convention, 1852 told that the fault is in herself, in too willingly submitting to her inferior condition ; but, like the slave, she is pressed down by laws in the making of which she has had no voice, and crushed by customs that have grown out of such laws. She cannot rise, therefore, while thus trampled in the dust. The oppressor does not see himself in that light until the oppressed cry for deliverance. TheextractfromLuther’swillwhichhasbeenread,whileitgivesevidenceofthe appreciation of the services of his wife, to a certain extent, and manifests a generous disposition to reward her as a faithful wife, still only proves the degrading relation she bore to her husband.2 There is no recognition of her equal right to their joint earnings. While the wife is obliged to accept as a gift that which in justice belongs to her, however generous the boon, she is but an inferior dependent. The law of our State and of New York, has within a few years been so amended that the wife has some control over a part of her property. Much yet remains to be done; and if woman “contend earnestly” for the right, man will co-operate with her in adjusting all her claims. We have only to look back a few years, to satisfy ourselves that the demands already made are met in a disposition to redress the grievances. When a delegation of women to the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840, could find no favor in London, what were the reasons assigned for the exclusion? Not that the right of representation was not as much woman’s as man’s, but that “they would be ridiculed in the morning papers.” Daniel O’Connell felt the...


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