A Petition For Universal Suffrage
|A Petition For Universal Suffrage (1865)|
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
The undersigned, Women of the United States, respectfully ask an amendment of the Constitution that shall prohibit the several States from disfranchising any of their citizens on the ground of sex.
In making our demand for Suffrage, we would call your attention to the fact that we represent fifteen million people—one half of the entire population of the country—intelligent, virtuous, native-born American citizens; and yet stand outside the pale of political recognition.
The Constitution classes us as "free people," and counts us whole persons in the basis of representation; and yet are we governed without our consent, compelled to pay taxes without appeal, and punished for violations of law without choice of judge or juror.
The experience of all ages, the Declarations of the Fathers, the Statute Laws of our own day, and the fearful revolution through which we have just passed, all prove the uncertain tenure of life, liberty and property so long as the ballot—the only weapon of self-protection—is not in the hand of every citizen.
Therefore, as you are now amending the Constitution, and, in harmony with advancing civilization, placing new safeguards round the individual rights of four millions of emancipated slaves, we ask that you extend the right of Suffrage to Woman—the only remaining class of disfranchised citizens—and thus fulfill your Constitutional obligation "to Guarantee to every State in the Union a Republican form of Government."
As all partial application of Republican principles must ever breed a complicated legislation as well as a discontented people, we would pray your Honorable Body, in order to simplify the machinery of government and ensure domestic tranquillity, that you legislate hereafter for persons, citizens, tax-payers, and not for class or caste.
For justice and equality your petitioners will ever pray.
|Newark N. Jersey|
|48 Livingston Brooklyn|
|6 West 14th NY|
|83 Clinton Place New York|
|48 Livingston St. Brooklyn|
|293 W. 19" St New York|
|This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.|