Copyright 1997. Rutgers University Press. All rights reserved.
Where are you, and why are you so long silent? We have had a most glorious hearing
before our Assembly Committee, the one to whom was referred our Petition
for the Just and Equal Rights of Women.[1
] All the members, save one, are quite liberally disposed. Mr. Channing
and Mrs. Rose
were the only members of our
committee who could be present at the hearing. Nettie
was pre-engaged at Cleveland and Pittsburg that week, and S. J. May
engaged in discussing the Trinity question with Rev. Luther Lee.[2
] Mrs. Rose made one of her very best arguments. I enclose the written statements as published in the Tribune
After the presentations of the statement to the Senate by Channing, Mrs. R. and Mr. C. made good arguments— as good as they could under the circumstances. The Senate Committee were very frivolous and wanting in common politeness.[3
] I read the document presented to the Assembly Committee. Mrs. Rose followed with an hour's close argument. We expected Mr. C. to follow her, but he thought best that the impression made by Mrs. R. should not be marred.
Nettie is to be here to-morrow and give her Bible Argument on the 9th
inst. I enclose a notice from the papers,[4
] also an editorial that appeared in yesterday's Register
from which you can judge the agitation here.[5
] The Evening Journal
published an extract of Mrs. Rose's Hartford Bible Convention speech, and commented upon it.[6
] The Knickerbocker
replied, and asked if Mr. Dawson in speaking of the Political career of Thomas Jefferson, would allude to his having been the bosom friend of Thomas Paine. They thought it unjust to apply one rule to men and another to women.— [7
] Dawson could find no fault with a word that Mrs. R. uttered here.
I send you an editorial from the Knickerbocker
in reply to the Register
. Lucy do write me here in care of L. Mott
. I shall be here until the middle of next week, when I leave for Washington in company with Mrs. Rose who is going first
to speak on the Nebraska Question as deduced from human rights
, and then upon Woman's Rights. I go to do the outside work, she being unable to attend to it.
Lucy is not this a wonderful time— and era long to be remembered? How is your health? Are you recovered from your exhaustion? A letter from Nettie says she is better but hoarse yet. Lucy I have let down some of my dresses and am dragging around with long skirts. It is humiliating to my good sense of cleanliness and comfort. In love
S. B. A.
] The assembly's select committee, chaired by James L. Angle, met on the afternoon of March 2
to hear arguments in support of the women's petitions for just and equal rights. SBA opened the hearing with an enumeration of twenty specific revisions needed in the laws, and Ernestine Rose spoke to justify the changes. (Albany Argus, 3 March 1854, and New York Daily Tribune, 7 March 1854, Film, 7:1014-24
] In support of the petitions for equal suffrage, William Channing and Ernestine Rose presented a short statement from the February meeting to the senate's select committee on March 1
. The Evening Journal
described their appearance "before theSenate Committee of Bachelors"; "The only effect produced was— a determination more fixed than ever, in the minds of the Committee, to remain
Bachelors in the event of the success of the movement. And who could blame them?" (Albany Evening Journal, 2 March 1854
, and New York Daily Tribune, 7 March 1854.
] A distinguished journalist and devout Baptist from Scotland, George Dawson (1813-1883) was Thurlow Weed's associate editor at the Journal
. Pertinent issues of the Albany Knickerbocker
cannot be found. The point is that Thomas Paine (1737-1809), pamphleteer of the American Revolution, was, like Ernestine Rose, a freethinker. (National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 2:204
; Howell and Tenney, County of Albany, N.Y., 360-64
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 20 October 2017]