Women’s Rights Convention, Broadway Tabernacle, New York City, September 6–7, 1853
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104 new york city wr convention, 1853 acknowledgment of the right of property in man,—an unwise appropriation of funds, which are so much needed to accomplish our great work—the overthrow of the slave system and the emancipation of every slave.7 PD C. M. Burleigh, “Anti-Slavery Convention,” Pennsylvania Freeman, December 23, 1852 1. Among the resolutions offered were two acclaiming the “steady and irresistible progress” in the antislavery movement and the “increase of Anti-Slavery influence and talent in Congress” (Pennsylvania Freeman, December 23, 1852). 2. Cyrus M. Burleigh (1810–55), temperance and antislavery lecturer. 3. On November 26, 1852, Harriet Leveson-Gower (1806–68), duchess of Sutherland , had organized a message on abolishing slavery from British women to the women of America. 4. Sarah Pugh (1800–1884), a member of the PASS and PFASS, had been a delegate to the June 1840 World’s Anti-Slavery Convention. Pugh traveled in Europe from fall 1851 to October 1853, and at a meeting of the Bristol Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society, she offered “explanations on points which had embarrassed their movements,” trying to ameliorate the prejudice against Garrisonians (Memorial of Sarah Pugh. A Tribute of Respect from her Cousins [Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1888], 61). 5. Edward Young (1683–1765), Night Thoughts (1742–45), II, line 600. 6. Mott’s phrasing is unclear. The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society had sided with the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society in 1840 when it separated from the AASS, and had also opposed the participation of women delegates at the World’s AntiSlavery Convention. Anna Richardson (1806–92) of Newcastle, England, an abolitionist and free produce advocate, allied with Garrison and the AASS (see Faulkner, 107; Palmer, 78, 81, 95, 147, 188). 7. Many abolitionists disagreed with the PASS resolution, and supported purchasing fugitive slaves. For this debate, see Faulkner, 115–16. Women’s Rights Convention, Broadway Tabernacle, New York City, September 6–7, 1853 [September 6, Morning Session, LM presiding] It may be well, at the outset, to declare distinctly the objects of the present Convention. Its purpose is to declare principles, not to descend into the consideration of details: the principles, namely, of the co-equality of woman with man, and her right to practice those arts of life for which she is fitted by nature. Those are our great principles, and the assertion of them is our only present purpose. When they shall have been well recognized, then it will be quite time enough to speak of the proper mode of carrying them into universal practice. Already, some of the rights of woman have been conceded to her; but many yet remain, from the enjoyment of which she is most unjustly restrained. But let us take courage; although we are met by ridicule, through the newspaper press, magazines, and periodicals, let us rely on the inherent justice of our cause and our own exertions. The community are already beginning to see that there are many occupations which woman can fill with efficiency and propriety, that new york city wr convention, 1853 105 were, until lately, closed against her. A generous feeling has befriended woman to this extent; but now, when it is perceived that she, and those who aid her, for the sake of justice of her cause, claim for her the full exercise of her faculties in the various walks of life to which men alone are now admitted; when her high and just aim is perceived—naturally, perhaps, there is a great deal of opposition to her, perhaps the more in proportion as she the more completely fits herself for pursuing those heretofore forbidden paths. We are prepared for a great deal of religious prejudice and even hostility; that is, prejudice and hostility claiming the name of religious. No wonder, for it is something new for woman to aim at the highest office—that which places her in the pulpit. But already has her voice been heard there, and to her credit.1 We have obstacles to encounter, but let them not dismay us, for they are not insurmountable. In the Temperance Reform, as well as in many others, it has been seen what difficulties can be overcome by vigorous and systematic efforts, based on inherent truth and justice. We came here full of hope, and prepared to prove that our cause is just. Woman has long been the mere slave of social custom, the unreasoning victim of conventional cruelty. Her voice has been...


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