Seneca Falls Convention
Grade 9

The Seneca Falls Convention was a “women’s rights” convention held in Seneca Falls, New York The Convention was held over a two day period, July 19th-20th in 1848

 

It was organized by women’s right advocate Lucretia Mott. It was a continuing effort for women to gain a greater portion of social, civil, and moral rights. Elizabeth Cady Stanton promoted the event as the first time men and women gathered together to demand women the right to vote.

DAY ONE:

Starting at 11 o’clock Elizabeth Cady Stanton spoke to the audience abruptly saying it was now time for all women to take reasonability for her own life and to “understand the height, the dept, the length, and the breadth of her own degradation”.

Stanton read the Declaration of Sentiments, and then re-read each paragraph so it would be discussed among the audience.

The decision of whether men would sign the document  was discussed and with votes looking favorable the motion was tabled until the following day when men themselves would participate.

DAY TWO:

Mott opened the meeting by reading the minutes of the previous day.

Stanton again presented the Declaration of Sediments and after comments made by Frederick Douglass, Thomas and Mary Ann M’Clintock and Amy Post the document was adopted unanimously.

The question of men’s signatures were solved by having two sections for signatures, one for men and one for women.

68 women and 32 men signed the declaration.

The National Reformer reported that those in the audience who evidently regarded the Declaration as "too bold and ultra", including the lawyers known to be opposed to the equal rights of women, "failed to call out any opposition, except in a neighboring

At the afternoon session the eleven revolutionaries of the declaration were read and each one was voted on individually.

The only one that was questioned was the ninth resolution regarding women’s right to vote.

Frederick Douglass then spoke these words "In this denial of the right to participate in government, not merely the degradation of woman and the perpetuation of a great injustice happens, but the maiming and repudiation of one-half of the moral and intellectual power of the government of the world” these words spoke to everyone in attendance and the resolution passed my a large majority.

 

 AFTERMATH:

Local newspapers printed reports of the convention that were both positive and negative.

The National Reformer reported that the convention "forms an era in the progress of the age; it being the first convention of the kind ever held, and one whose influence shall not cease until woman is guaranteed all the rights now enjoyed by the other half of creation—Social, Civil and POLITICAL.

The Oneida Whig did not approve of the convention, writing of the Declaration: "This bolt is the most shocking and unnatural incident ever recorded in the history of womanity. If our ladies will insist on voting and legislating, where, gentleman, will be our dinners and our elbows? Where our domestic firesides and the holes in our stockings?"

 

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