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4 1875 The Texas Redeemer Convention Considers Woman Suffrage At the constitutional convention that met in 1875 to "redeem" the state from the Reconstruction Constitution of 1869, W. T. G. Weaver of Cooke County offered a strong resolution favoring woman suffrage. Mr. Russell of Wood County countered with a resolution that proposed to expunge Mr. Weaver's proposed resolution from the journal of the convention. A West Texas woman, Mrs. Sarah G. W. Hiatt, submitted to the convention a petition favoring woman suffrage. Delegates debated whether to accept the petition; they voted down a motion to reject it. It was then referred to the Committee on Suffrage, where no further action was taken. DOCUMENT* MR. WEAVER'S RESOLUTIONFAVORING SUFFRAGE FOR WOMEN SEPTEMBER 22, 1875 Mr. Weaver offered the following resolution: Resolved, That woman, being by the ordinances of nature, the mother of all living human beings, that, if we accept Hebrew traditions, the word "Eve" typically means the mother of all living, and that, as mother, wife, sister and daughter, she has the first care of our lives, is our nurse in childhood, our mentor in youth, our companion, helper and consoler in manhood, our comforting, ministering and sustaining angel in death, even at the birth, trial, death, and resurrection of Jesus, in the beautiful faith of Christianity, constant to him in the midst of mobocracy and despotism; and that in history, wherever she has had the power to speak and act for herself, in the great majority of cases, she has risen above the masses, like the full moon out of night's bosom, to shine with the light of beauty, virtue, charity and truth, over the moral darkness around her; and that, in this land of republican faith and representative, democratic government, by every recognition of modern, enlightened Christian civilization, she is morally and mentally man's equal; that the same "inalienable" rights that Jef- *From: Journal of the Constitutional Convention of the State of Texas, Begun and Held at the City ofAustin, September 6, 1875 (Galveston, 1875), 191-192. 65 66 CITIZENS AT LAST ferson has made household words in every land, where human liberty has found a home or an advocate, are as much woman's as man's; that she is a citizen as much of these United States, by the same natural rights of citizenship, as man; that the elective franchise, being founded on these natural rights of the people, and inasmuch as woman is of the people, and must be governed by the laws made by the people, and is often a taxpayer, there is no reason, political, human or divine, (Paul to the contrary notwithstanding,) why she should not have the same rights at the ballot-box that man has. Resolved further, That the writer hereof believes that the presence of woman at the ballot-box, . . . as a legal voter, would do more to protect that shrine of the people's rights than all the laws to guard the elective franchise that have heretofore been passed. DOCUMENT* MR. RUSSELL'S RESOLUTION OPPOSING SUFFRAGE FOR WOMEN SEPTEMBER 24, 1875 Mr. Russell, of Wood, offered the following resolution: Resolved, by the People of Texas in Convention assembled, That the resolution introduced in this body, on the 22d inst., by the honorable gentleman from Cook county, recommending the incorporation of woman suffrage in the organic law of this State, be, and the same is hereby, expunged from the journals of this Convention, by drawing a black line or mark around said resolution. Referred to the Committee on Suffrage. DOCUMENT* DEBATE, MONDAY, OCTOBER 4,1875 MR. DOHONEY presented the petition of Mrs. [Sarah] G. W. Hyatt (sic), of Eldorado [?], praying for woman suffrage as a "legitimate application of Democratic principles." MR. MARTIN, of Navarro, made a furious onslaught against woman suffrage. He said the Alabama Convention had transacted its busi- *From: Journal of the Constitutional Convention of the State of Texas, Begun and Held at the City ofAustin, September 6, 1875 (Galveston, 1875), 196. *From: Seth Shepard McKay, ed., Debates in the Texas Constitutional Convention of 1875 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1930), 142-143. DOCUMENTS 67 ness and adjourned, and if such a question as this—the discussion of the right of a woman to a husband, a new bonnet, a baby, and a cradle —was to be injected into the Texas Convention, there was no knowing when they would finish their work. MR. DOHONEY spoke for the reception of the petition and its reference...


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