restricted access Women’s Rights Convention, Broadway Tabernacle, New York City, November 25–26, 1856
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

122 new york city wr convention, 1856 LM briefly described this reaction, saying her sister may have seen the New York Times account “a column describg. that miserable opponent Richd. Cromwell . . . The other was not a Quaker—one who has spoken before, & been set down—such a rush as there was to thank & express satisfactn” (New York Times, November 12, 1855; Mott Manuscripts, FHL). Women’s Rights Convention, Broadway Tabernacle, New York City, November 25–26, 1856 [November 25 Session] Mrs. LUCRETIA MOTT suggested that the speakers should make their remarks brief, and keep as much as possible to the point, in order that there might be an intelligent consideration of the resolutions submitted to the convention. However gratifying it might be to listen to eloquent words, it was needful, in a convention like this, that they should come together for business purposes, and that they should go forth from it prepared to do something. They should resolve to be aggressive reformers. A great deal had been said about woman’s peaceable and passive nature; this reform was one which needed all the combativeness of the spirit of Jesus; it needed that they should go forth armed with panoply divine. They should go forth into society as nonconformists, even as Jesus was. There was a duty for woman to perform in overthrowing and overcoming all those obstacles that had been placed in her way. The strong power of custom had closed the avenues of scientific preferment, and legislative enactments had deprived her of her just rights. She must not be kept back by the sneers and scorn that attend a movement of this kind. The statement made by the President of the convention, of what had already been achieved in the course of the last few years, in consequence of this movement in behalf of woman’s rights, and with comparatively little labor, was enough to repay them for coming together.1 The little progress, in this respect, that Pennsylvania had made, had been overlooked by the speaker. The laws of Pennsylvania were in a state of modification. There was a speaker present who would tell them about the efforts making in France.2 Some present might be familiar with the fact that immediately after the attempted Revolution in that country, when a delegation of women waited upon the Provisional Government and asked for an equal representation, numbers of that Provisional Government entertained their appeal respectfully, some of them declaring that the only reason why the former Revolution had failed was, that France was only represented by one half of her people. Woman was suffering under the nightmare of oppression, and it was for her to raise her voice and make her plea before the people; for oppressors rarely saw themselves in their true light until the oppressed cried for deliverance. There was a native goodness in the heart of man that was ready for the reception of an appeal on every subject of moral reform; but at present so ignorant were the wisest of men on this subject of woman’s legal disabilities that they had scarcely begun to imagine the extent of those wrongs. Some years ago the speaker heard an intelligent advocate of the new york city wr convention, 1856 123 law in London say, that although it had been his business and his profession, for years, to settle marriage estates and other business in behalf of women, yet he never imagined the extent of the oppression that she endured, until he read the report of the proceedings of the first Woman’s Convention in Worcester. He then examined the whole subject, and such was his conviction of the truthfulness of the statements made at that convention, and the necessity of spreading the facts before the people, that he sent a sum of money to this country to aid in the publication of documents, and requested copies of all such publications to be sent to each of his daughters in England. And not only that gentleman, but the able editors of the Westminster Review3 had taken up the subject, and published an able article from the pen of a woman [Harriet Taylor Mill], called out by the proceedings of the first convention at Worcester. So this reform had now made a good beginning, and if they continued faithful and active their labors would not be in vain. [November 26 Session] At this late hour it will not be proper for me to add many words, even were it...