Copyright 1997. Rutgers University Press. All rights reserved.
During the three weeks following the National Woman's Rights Convention held at Cleveland, Oct. 5
& 7th 1853
] I travelled through the Southern tier of Counties in N.Y. State, & held meetings in some eight or ten different villages. I talked upon the subject of Temperance.
One year previous to this Miss Emily Clark
of LeRoy N.Y. had passed over the same ground, Lecturing upon the same subject, & had aided the Ladies of several of the villages in forming Womens Temperance Societies. In every place, except Elmira
, those societies had never existed after the evening of their beginning. The reason given, by very nearly all the ladies with whom I conversed, for the failure of their societies, was womans want of time
to meet their demands. Their Temperance meetings could be made interesting & useful to their members, or others,
only by securing the attendance of persons who could speak to the edification of the People. Those of their own number who possessed ability
to prepare essays, found they had not the command of the leisure hours
necessary for their preparation. And to secure the attendance of speakers & Lecturers from abroad, required money & money they possessed not— Thus as I passed from town to town was I made to feel the great evil of womans entire dependency upon man, for the necessary means to aid on any & every reform movement. Though I had long admitted the wrongs I never, until this time, so fully took in the grand idea of pecuniary & personal independence
It matters not how overflowing with benevolence toward suffering humanity , it avails nothing so long as she possesses not the power to act in accordance with those prompting. Woman must have a purse of her own, & how can this be, so long as the is denied the right to her individual & joint earnings. Reflections like these, caused me to see & really feel that there was no true freedom for woman without the possession of all her property rights, & that these rights could be obtained through legislation only, & if so, the sooner the demand was made of the Legislature, the sooner would be likely to obtain them— This demand must be made by Petitions to the Legislature, & that too at its very next session— How could the work be started, why, by first holding a Convention & adopting some plan of united action.
On my return to Rochester on the a.m. of Nov. 8th
I dined at W. R. Hallowell's & then went directly to Mr. Channing
, told of the work I had planned, he answered Capital
, & forth[3
The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony,
ed. Ann D. Gordon, et al.
(Columbia, S.C.: Model Editions Partnership, 1999).
Electronic version based on
The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
(New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1997) Vol. 1, pp. 196-461. On the Web at http://mep.blackmesatech.com/mep/ [Accessed 8 January 2018]