A Petition For Universal Suffrage

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A Petition For Universal Suffrage  (1865) 

From the National Archives and Records Administration; Record Group 233: Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789 - 2015; Series: Petitions and Memorials, 1813 - 1968; File Unit: Petitions and Memorials, Resolutions of State Legislatures, and Related Documents Which Were Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary during the 39th Congress, 1865 - 1867; ARC #306684




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.



E. Cady Stanton New York
Susan B. Anthony Rochester—N.Y.
Antoinette Brown Blackwell New York
Lucy Stone Newark N. Jersey
Joanna P. Morse 48 Livingston Brooklyn
Ernestine L. Rose New York
Harriet E. Eaton 6 West 14th NY
Catharine C. Wilkeson 83 Clinton Place New York
Elizabeth R. Tilton 48 Livingston St. Brooklyn
Mary Fowler Gilbert 293 W. 19" St New York
Mary E. Gilbert New York
M. Griffith New York

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.