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2 1868-1869 The Texas Reconstruction Convention Considers Woman Suffrage There was no apparent organized woman suffrage activity in Texas before the Civil War. But as soon as the war ended and delegates assembled in convention to rewrite the Texas Constitution, a small group of Texas women asked that the new constitution be so framed as to include the right of suffrage for both sexes. T. H. Mundine of Burleson County introduced an equal suffrage declaration. It survived a tabling motion and was referred to the Committee on State Affairs. The majority recommended adoption. But a minority of the committee members issued a report against woman suffrage . Delegate L. D. Evans, in a speech before the convention, advocated suffrage for women—but not at the present time. The convention delegates finally voted to reject Mundine's declaration. DOCUMENT* DECLARATION OF T. H. MUNDINE JULY 8, 1868 Be it declared by the people of Texas in Convention assembled, That the following shall be a section of the Constitution of the State of Texas, known as Section , of Article Every person, without the distinction of sex, who shall have arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and who shall be a citizen of the United States; or is, at the time of the adoption of this constitution by the Congress of the United States, a citizen of the State of Texas, and shall have resided in this State one year next preceding an election, and the last six months within the district, county, city or town in which he or she offers to vote (Indians not taxed exempted), shall be deemed a qualified elector. And should such qualified elector happen to be in another county, situated in the district in which he or she resides at the time of the election, he or she shall be permitted to vote for any district officer; provided, that the qualified electors shall be permitted to vote anywhere in the State for State officers; and provided, further, that no soldier, seaman, or ma- *From: Journal of the Reconstruction Convention, Which Met at Austin, Texas Dec. 7, A.D. 1868 (Austin, 1870), vol. 1, 245-246. 56 DOCUMENTS 57 rine, in the army or navy of the United States, shall be entitled to vote at any election created by this Constitution. DOCUMENT* COMMITTEE REPORT FOR WOMAN SUFFRAGE Sir: A majority of your Committee on State Affairs, to whom was referred the declaration introduced by the Hon. T. H. Mundine, of the county of Burleson, to extend the right of suffrage to all citizens of the State over the age of twenty-one years, possessing the requisite qualifications for electors, have examined with much care said declaration , and considered the object sought to be accomplished and have arrived at the conclusion that said declaration ought to be a part of the organic law. It was said by George Washington that the safety of republican government depends upon the virtue and intelligence of the people. This declaration is not a new theory of government; for the first time proposed to be made a part of our republican institutions, the idea of extending the elective franchise to females has been exhaustively discussed in Great Britain and in the United States. Your committee are of the opinion that the true basis of republican government must ever depend on the wisdom and virtue of the people. In this state our system of jurisprudence is a combination of the civil and Spanish law, intermixed with the common law of England; and this peculiar system, just in all its parts for the preservation of the rights of married and unmarried women, is likely to be continued. The time was when woman was regarded as the mere slave of man; but that time was when ignorance prevailed, and learning was confined to the few. It was believed, in order to perpetuate the pretended Divine right of kings to rule, that the mass of the people should be kept in profound ignorance and that woman was not entitled to the benefits of learning at all. It is not remarkable that as the benign principles of Christianity have been promulgated, that free government has steadily progressed, and the natural and Divine rights of woman have been recognized. That government from which we borrow the main principles of our free constitution, and from which we wrested our independence, *From: Journal of the Reconstruction Convention, Which Met at Austin, Texas Dec. 7, A.D. 1868 (Austin, 1870), vol...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781623493684
Related ISBN
9781623493653
MARC Record
OCLC
954671611
Pages
268
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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