Betsy Schwartz (betsys) Sun 9 Apr 06 14:43
I was going to ask you when women did achieve equal legal rights, then I remembered that the ERA never *did* pass. Amazing that such a large movement gets so little space in our history books. The only other women's rights advocates I could name are Sojourner Truth, Amelia Bloomer , and Mary Lyons - and I know the last one only because I'm a Mt. Holyoke dropout. I see that the official first National Women's Rights Convention was held in our backyard in Worcester, MA ( http://www.wwhp.org/ has some interesting history) Browsing on your web pages at <http://www.clarinanichols.com/antebellum>
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Sun 9 Apr 06 14:53
If women didn't have the right to vote, how did it happen that men voted to give it to them? What motivation was used?
Diane Eickhoff (diane-eickhoff) Sun 9 Apr 06 19:18
>I see that the official first National Women's Rights Convention was held in our backyard in Worcester, MA. Yes, it was, but very few people know about it. Worcester, Massachusetts played an important part in that history. The First and the Second *National* Woman's Rights Conventions were held there in 1850 and 1851. It was a mind-blowing time for the women -- and the men -- who attended. The Seneca Falls Convention two years earlier had been called hastily and included mostly women from the area around Seneca Falls with a couple notable exceptions. The conventions in Worcester, Mass., were the first, large-scale, organized-in-advance conventions that brought in people from around the country -- the Northern part of the country, that is -- to join the conversation and get the ball rolling. One woman came all the way from California. The conversations, dialogues, speeches included, but were not limited to discussions of voting rights. The women who attended these conventions knew women were being short-changed in every area of life -- under the law, within organized religion, in the workplace, and at home. They loved to point out the hypocritical attitudes of a society that allowed women like songbird Jenny Lind sing in public halls but denounced any woman who dared *speak* her mind before a mixed audience of men and women. Clarina Nichols was at both the 1850 and 1851 conventions. Here's a quotation from her in 1851 that gives you an idea where her head was:"Woman has been waiting for centuries, expecting man to go before her and lift her up. But he has not done it. Now comes the call that she should first grasp hold of heaven, and strive to drag man after her!" >If women didn't have the right to vote, how did it happen that men voted to give it to them? What motivation was used? It wasn't easy. It took 72 years! There's a popular historical drama that aired on HBO a few years agp called _Iron-Jawed Angels_ that tells that story. Some historians think it takes too many liberties with the suffragists, tries too hard to make them modern and hip, but I think it does a a pretty good job at bringing that particular era to life. I've heard so many women say -- I had no idea it was like that -- that women were dragged off to jail and went on hunger strikes to win their political rights. If you want to try History Lite before diving into more hearty fare, I'd recommend checking out this movie. My expertise is on a much earlier period, the era preceding the Civil War (1861-65). The end of the suffrage part of the women's rights story comes two years after World War I ended, in 1920.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (peoples) Mon 10 Apr 06 19:23
Reading about the struggles of the early women's rights movement reminded me of that French aphorism, "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose." The more things change, the more they stay the same. Women who advocate for women's rights have always had to fight against the stereotype of being man-haters, and quite likely *lesbians* (!!!! ooooo wooooo). During Nichols' day, the term "unsexed women" was bandied about when upstart feminists were discussed. I assume that was the Victorian way of suggesting they were homosexual?
Diane Eickhoff (diane-eickhoff) Mon 10 Apr 06 22:54
>I assume that was the Victorian way of suggesting they were homosexual? That and more! Newspapers tried every which way to discredit the early women's rights advocates. Suggesting they were sexually "deviant" in some way was at the top of the list. They preferred making fun of the women to taking on their arguments. There's not a very good argument to be made against basic civil and political rights. They couldn't exactly argue that these women weren't citizens. There was a sense that the phrase "all men are created equal" was a universal statement. So if your argument is flimsy, or if you don't want to bother making an argument, what do you do? Shift ground. Make a personal attack. That's what happened. A favorite tactic was accusing a woman's rights activist of not being a *real* woman. Newspapers had a heyday with women who were speaking up for women's rights at their "hen conventions." They printed cartoons of ugly, fat or skinny women with five o'clock shadows on their faces, long, beaked noses or even beards and mustaches. They took away every feminine curve or feature and made them look as unappealing as Cinderella's step-sisters. What woman, just learning about the new women's rights movement, would want to be identified with *those* women? One historian (Barbara Welter) came up with something she called the "cult of true womanhood." After studying the covert and overt messages in a popular women's magazine of the day, she boiled down the four characteristics that a true woman needed to possess -- religious piety, sexual purity, domesticity, and submissiveness. Most of these early feminists had pretty strong doses of piety, purity, and domesticity. But submissiveness? Uh uh! They had to break the mold on that one, or they would never have spoken out, but it made them very vulnerable to attacks on their womanliness. Clarina Nichols herself loathed speaking up in public or sitting on a platform in front of a bunch of people staring at her. She worried about not being attractive enough "to dissolve the prejudices it was my mission to dispel." At the same time, she castigated herself for worrying about how she looked. It's that kind of no-win situation that I think a lot of women today still struggle with. In the antebellum period, the question was seriously raised: Are these women really women? Maybe they're asexual or men masquerading as women, newspapers said. If they were real women, they wouldn't be acting like this. They wouldn't be demanding their rights, questioning traditional values, and their place in society. If the women were attractive and single, they were branded whores, harlots, promiscuous. If they were married, their husbands were accused of not being *real* men but "she-men." (My personal favorite was the newspaper editor in Kansas who called Lucy Stone's husband a "seed-wart.") I think it's really later in the century that outright accusations are made about homosexualty, but it's certainly hinted at strongly in some of the diatribes that were printed in the papers and shown in the cartoons. It's definitely part of the sub-text. The purpose, of course, was to discredit the women and discredit their cause. I'm sure it scared off a good many women. And that attitude still carries over today, doesn't it? As a culture (and especially in the entertainment industry) we still have this preference for women who are sexy bimbos and a fear of strong women. We are obsessed with how women look, how attractive or unattractive they are. I wish I had a quarter for every woman who has told me she is not a feminist -- with the implication that a feminist is some kind of humorless, unsexed, man-hating woman who couldn't possibly be warm, attractive, and funny. One thing you gotta say about this attitude on the part of both men and women. It has a long history.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (peoples) Tue 11 Apr 06 07:23
> husbands were accused > of not being *real* men but "she-men." Yup, and that kind of mindset lives on in the use of terms like "pussy-whipped," doesn't it? As if a husband deferring to his wife is somehow deficient as a man. > I wish I had a quarter for every woman who has told me she is not a > feminist -- with the implication that a feminist is some kind of > humorless, unsexed, man-hating woman who couldn't possibly be warm, > attractive, and funny. In a description of Nichols' childhood, you write that she and her siblings would gather by the fireplace at night to listen to their grandfather's tales about fighting in the American Revolutionary War. He told them, "Oh, my children, you can't know what your liberty cost." The same words apply to women's rights. Today we take so much of it for granted. Of course women can vote! Of course women have custody rights! Of course women can run for office, can be a police officer, can join the Marines. That none of these options were available to women a century ago is often forgotten. I have a 1927 San Francisco Chronicle that reminds me. The front page has an article quoting a judge explaining that women cannot and should not serve on juries because "their brains are different." How quaint! How amusing that a judge said something so ridiculous. Yet just last year, Lawrence Summers -- who was president of Harvard at the time -- suggested that fewer women succeed in science and math careers because of innate differences between men and women. However, women in China and Japan are equally successful with men in those fields, so what "innate" differences was Summers referring to? I wonder, are women who shy away from identifying as "feminist" for fear it will make them unfeminine unaware of how hard women worked to gain the rights we now have? I wonder, do they realize how much they've benefited from the women's rights movement? I wonder, do they understand that we must fight to maintain our rights, that we must speak out against efforts to chip away at the gains of the women's rights movement?
With catlike tread (sumac) Tue 11 Apr 06 09:55
I've recently been reading about Stanton and her Woman's Bible and the flap around that. So, was Nichols pious?
Allegro ma non tofu (pamela) Tue 11 Apr 06 11:19
I'd never heard of this woman, and I thank you for bringing her to our attention.
Diane Eickhoff (diane-eickhoff) Tue 11 Apr 06 15:05
>I've recently been reading about Stanton and her Woman's Bible and the flap around that. So, was Nichols pious? Yup! At least she started out that way. She was raised in a very pious, Baptist home (Northern, not Southern Baptist -- course that split didn't happen until the slavery issue divided the denomination, but there were differences among Baptists then, as there are now. Her parents were progressive Baptists.) Anyhow, as time went on, she had more and more problems with organized religion. The biggest thing, of course, was its implacable stand regarding women's place in the home, in church, and in society. Early on, Nichols began debating ministers in public lyceums -- sort of adult education cum entertainment forums. She knew her Bible backwards and forwards and could predict exactly what passages these ministers would zero in on. Like today, conservative ministers "cherry-picked" those verses in the Bible that supported their retro agendas and skipped over all broad injunctions to love your neighbor as yourself and not be judgmental about other people. They loved pointing out the "fact" that Eve brought sin into the world and preached many sermons on the theme of wives obeying their husbands. After a while Nichols found all this tiresome. I would imagine that if she came to church, some minister would take it upon himself to preach a good sermon about womanly submission. But in the West I think it was relatively easy for her to just kind of drop out of the church scene. In later years she talked a good deal about communing with nature, about getting inspiration and perspective by being outdoors, walking through the woods, collecting wild flowers and such. In her later years she was reading "Light of Asia," which is a long poem about Buddha, I believe. Susan B. Anthony sent it to her. In _Revolutionary Heart_ I created an imaginary dialogue/debate between Nichols and a minister. I had a lot of fun writing it, but in the end decided I needed to put it in as an appendix item since I put words into both Nichols's mouth and the minister's!
With catlike tread (sumac) Tue 11 Apr 06 15:07
Very interesting---do you know if she had any views on the Woman's Bible?
Gail Williams (gail) Tue 11 Apr 06 15:14
(Just wanted to slip in here to note that i found The Light of Asia free online at http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext05/lasia10.txt )
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Tue 11 Apr 06 21:54
At this point, would it be possible for women to lose the vote?
Diane Eickhoff (diane-eickhoff) Wed 12 Apr 06 06:14
>Very interesting---do you know if she had any views on the Woman's Bible? The Woman's Bible was published in the mid to late 1890s, about a decade after Nichols died in 1885. She did, however, write a biblical exegesis of her own, called the _The Bible Position and Woman, or Woman's Rights From a Bible Stand-Point_. It was published as a six-part series in the + Vermont Phoenix_ in 1869, though she'd been working on it for a decade. It is not light reading, nor is it a satirical piece. Nichols goes through the Bible inch by inch, putting verses in context (she owned several Biblical commentaries of the time), examining every reference that concerns women, re-interpreting these passages, doing some very careful reasoning. She believed orthodox religion (along with law) was the biggest obstacle to women's rights. She wrote _The Bible Position of Woman_ while she was living in Kansas. God knows how she found time for this kind of writing, among all her other responsibilities. (She was, at the time, a farmer, occasionally taught school or served as the area's doctor and midwife, wrote for various newspapers in Kansas and out east, and -- of course -- lobbied for women's rights when she felt she could have some impact. She talked about trying to get her _Bible Position of Woman_ published as a book but that never happened. It's heavy reading, but if you're pretty familiar with the Bible and know the usual arguments, it's a fascinating piece.
Diane Eickhoff (diane-eickhoff) Wed 12 Apr 06 06:29
Thanks for posting the link above to Light of Asia, Gail. I have only a vague memory from reading it a few years ago. I thought it was interesting that these early women's rights leaders were reading this kind of thing but not surprising if you think about it. Transcendentalism was being explored by many educated people at this point in history, and that's sort of a cousin to Eastern religious thought. And, of course, some of these early feminists were feeling constrained by orthodox Christianity -- not by the teachings of Jesus but by the injunctions of dear old St. Paul -- and by how the clergy used the Bible to keep women in their place. That's still going on -- and not just in Christianity. Conservative wings of all the major religions use religion to reinforce traditional views of women.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (peoples) Wed 12 Apr 06 07:03
Diane, we've touched on the fact that the early women's rights movement hitched its wagon to two other movements of the era: abolition and temperance. Do you think this helped or hindered the women's rights movement?
With catlike tread (sumac) Wed 12 Apr 06 08:30
Diane, that information about The Bible Position of Women is fascinating to me. How did you get to look at it, if it was never publsihed as a book---did you visit a Vermont library with old bound volumes?
Diane Eickhoff (diane-eickhoff) Wed 12 Apr 06 10:28
≥At this point, would it be possible for women to lose the vote? No! I don't think that will happen unless they do something to the water. _The Stepford Wives_ or _The Handmaid's Tale_ are cautionary tales, I guess, but I can't imagine any scenario where they'd become a reality. In current discussions, the debate revolves more around this question: Are men and women different or the same? Given the same amount of power, money, and influence, would women allocate resources in the same way? make the same priorities? run the world pretty much the way it is being run today? If women woul act in basically the same way as men in power do, then it won't matter how many women break the glass ceiling. It will just be business as usual, and the only thing that will change is that you'll see a lot more red suits when the cameras scans Congress during the President's State of the Union address, and the biggest change will be in the numbere of toilets set aside for females in executive suites. Of course, that still doesn't mean women shouldn't win parity with men in all aspects of life. Justice is justice. But if women's history and biology (no one's arguing we aren't different in this way!) and upbringing have made women different in the essential way they veiw the world, handle conflict, resolve differences, allocate resources, etc. then there might be some interesting changes. Maybe there's some kind of tipping point that would come into play. It's said that the first women to enter every profession or wield power in any institution identify with the men who are already there and to act accordintly, but when lots of women enter that profession or organization, the culture begins to change. If that's true, then we have a long way to go before we see if that's true. The U.S. Congress is only 14 percent female, despite our demands that Afghanistan have 25 percent female legislators. At the very least we know that educating women is the best way to get them to reduce family size and improve the family's economic state. Back in 1853, the antebellum women's movement held a big convention in New York City. The two or three-thousand women and men attendees resolved that women's rights were not just for the United States "but for the whole world."
Diane Eickhoff (diane-eickhoff) Wed 12 Apr 06 10:40
>that information about The Bible Position of Women...How did you get to look at it, if it was never publsihed as a book? I wish I had a great sleuthing story to relate on this one, but I don't. In the 1970s a Kansas historian gathered up as many of Nichols's writings as he could find and published them as an 8-part series in the _Kansas Historical Quarterly_ in 1973-74. There it sat for 30 years. The original series was published in a Vermont newspaper, the _Vermont Phoenix_ in 1869. That was the year Lucy Stone, another early women's rights advocate and a friend of Clarina Nichols, was campaigning in Vermont for suffrage. Nichols kept hammering away at this because she believed that besides laws, the church was the biggest obstacle to women's rights.
Diane Eickhoff (diane-eickhoff) Wed 12 Apr 06 11:30
>We've touched on the fact that the early women's rights movement hitched its wagon to two other movements of the era: abolition and temperance. Do you think this helped or hindered the women's rights movement? The early women's rights movement was not so much "hitched" to temperance and abolition as it was an organic outgrowth of them. Those two movements came first. Women were involved in both in large numbers. But even in movements ostensibly dedicated to reform, women were told to take the back seat -- to support the movements with their labors but to keep their mouths shut. William Lloyd Garrison, an exception to this rule, almost got kicked out of an organization he founded, the American Anti-slavery Society, because he started letting women speak publicly on behalf of the cause. This was shocking. Unacceptable. Men in his organization were so outraged by this violation of propriety and God's laws that they quit. Formed their own anti-slavery organization. Like those old clubhouse signs in cartoons -- "No Girls Allowed." At an anti-slavery meeting in London in 1840, the men in this off-shoot organization took it a step further. This was supposed to be a *world* anti-slavery meeting. People representing different anti-slavery organizations were invited. But the American women who showed up were told they couldn't be part of it -- couldn't speak. Couldn't vote. Had to sit behind a black curtain in the galleries. (Garrison, in protest, sat with them.) It took a while but after this and other similar experiences, the women decided maybe it was time to start their own reform movement. One that would address strictly women's issues. In some ways the anti-slavery and temperance movements helped the early women's rights advocates. These movements brought women together in large numbers, gave them experience in organizing and (with Garrison's wing) in public speaking. They were already pretty sophisticated in the art of organizing and reform by the time they formed separated and formed their own organization (while continuing their work in both temperance and anti-slavery). Without those experiences, I think it would have taken the women much longer to speak up on their own behalf.
virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Wed 12 Apr 06 14:51
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Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (peoples) Thu 13 Apr 06 06:08
> Nichols kept hammering away at this because she believed that besides > laws, the church was the biggest obstacle to women's rights. Plus ca change, once again! We've talked about how Nichols' contributions have been forgotten for nearly a century, and how she's now starting to get recognition again. From "Revolutionary Heart": "...Nichols's home town and state are beginning to pay tribute to her life and achievements. Roadside markers were commissioned by the Vermont Division of Historic Preservation for Nichols and her cousin Alphonso Taft, the father of William Howard Taft. Originally the placards were to be placed on the grounds of the church that Nichols and Taft attended ... Church officials agreed to place Taft's placard on their property -- but declined to accept Nichols's." I'm flabbergasted by the small-mindedness of the stance of those church officials. What a slap in the face to women! If Clarina Nichols were able to comment from the grave on women's position in the United States today, what do you think she'd say about the progress that's been made? And what do you think she'd be stumping for in this modern world?
Diane Eickhoff (diane-eickhoff) Thu 13 Apr 06 08:26
>I'm flabbergasted by the small-mindedness of the stance of those church officials. Yes, so was I. You'd think they'd be proud to have their church associated with Nichols, but apparently not. Plus ca change indeed. On one of our research trips, we visited Worcester, Mass., home of the American Antiquarian Society. (They have the largest original collection of Nichols's newspaper, the _Windham County Democrat_ -- a dozen or so copies.) Worcester was also the location for the First and Second National Woman's Rights conventions in 1850 and 1851 and has a very active group of women dedicated to gaining as much recognition for historic significance as Seneca Falls, New York, has gained. While in the area, we decided to visit the ruins of the home of Lucy Stone, another pioneer in the early women's rights movement. The home she grew up in is in ruins, but the outer walls are partially standing. You can see where the windows used to be and the outlines of the rooms. No roof but the sky and everything overgrown in vines and weeds, a tree or two growing right in the middle of what used to be kitchen perhaps.The "house" is set back from the road, surrounded by thick woods. I poked my way through the ruins for a long time. On the edge of the property there's a sign that says the ruins are in a trust and will be restored in some form or another some day. There's a picture of Lucy Stone on the placard, and on her picture someone has drawn both a mustache and a beard. Of course, you could say this is just kids having fun, but it was interesting to me that whoever was having "fun" was historically accurate. The early feminists were often pictured with mustaches and beards. The underlying message, then and now, is that these were not *real* women and that their issues were not real issues either, that they and their movement were kind of a joke. Even the word that is often used to describe the women's rights advocates is designed to evoke smallness -- suffragettes. It's not a word they themselves used. They called themselves suffragists. May not seem like a big deal, but the words definitely evoke different images.
Diane Eickhoff (diane-eickhoff) Thu 13 Apr 06 09:38
>If Clarina Nichols were able to comment from the grave on women's position in the United States today, what do you think she'd say about the progress that's been made? And what do you think she'd be stumping for in this modern world? Wow, that's a great question. I think she'd be very pleased to see how many women have taken advantage of educational opportunities -- to go to college, get post-graduate and professional educations -- all of which were closed to females when she was coming up in the world. She'd be pleased to see how many women have become doctors, lawyers, and ministers. She'd be hoping that their presence would change those institutions from the inside out. In her newspaper she often reported on the progress of women. She'd say something like, "three women have become telegraph operators this month," or "Fanny S. has become clerk at the such-and-such bank." That should give you some sense of how far we've come in that regard. She'd be pleased that nobody thinks a thing of a woman buying a house, and that it's taken for granted that a woman has a right to control her own wages, property, and investments. I think she would be shocked and horrified by the amount of violence directed toward women -- by domestic abuse, in particular. I would love to make her the patron saint of abused women because I think that's one area she'd definitely be involved in. I think she'd be disappointed by the still relatively small number of women in government at all levels, especially the federal level -- only 14 percent of Congress is female. That would surprise her. I think she'd be surprised that we haven't had a female president or vice president yet. And I think she'd find some way to involve herself with women on the international level. She would be promoting education for girls in Bangladesh and economic opportunities for women in Chad. And I think she'd be surprised and disappointed that women are still judged by their looks instead of the content of their character. Just the other day I heard a popular TV and radio personality have great fun comparing the butts of Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. Nichols would be telling women who are consumed with losing weight, getting face-lifts, tummy tucks, boob jobs, and fussing over their looks, to give it a rest. She'd tell them to use all that energy to go out into the world and make a difference, make a contribution. I think she'd wonder why so many female performers sing in those little-girl voices.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (peoples) Sat 15 Apr 06 08:54
> wonder why so many female performers sing in those little-girl voices I wonder the same thing. I also wonder why women are willing to wear those painfully pointy-toed high heels, and push-up bras, and and and ... but I digress. I want to back up a second to look a bit more at the way the abolitionist, temperance, and women's rights movements were tied together and where the ties unraveled. Men welcomed the support of women in the abolition and temperance movements, and those same men offered their support to the women's rights movement. But only up to a point As you've noted, Diane, women weren't supposed to actually *speak up* about any of these issues at public meetings. They were relegated to the proverbial "making coffee" role. This obviously rankled Nichols throughout the many years she struggled for women's rights. To borrow a quote you already posted: "Woman has been waiting for centuries, expecting man to go before her and lift her up. But he has not done it. Now comes the call that she should first grasp hold of heaven, and strive to drag man after her!" Nichols said that the year of the Second Women's Rights Convention in 1851. Yet Nichols and her cohort continued to be hopeful that their support of these other two issues would convince their male compatriots to reciprocate, despite repeated evidence to the contrary. It reminds me of that old riff from "Peanuts": Every autumn, Lucy pulls the football away just as Charlie Brown tries to kick it, every year he vows he won't get fooled again, yet the following year, there he goes again. Sixteen years after Nichols called for women to stop expecting men to address the inequality of women, she was still kicking at that same football. In 1867, when twin suffrage amendments -- one for black men and one for women -- were about to go before the Kansas voters, she wrote "Those who have fought the oppressor, and freed the slave and demanded suffrage for him, will not forget the women who prayed and wept and wrought for them in the battlefield, in hospital and rebel prison." Diane, can you tell us a bit about how these two proposed amendments got onto the ballot and what happened regarding the support Nichols expected from men?
Diane Eickhoff (diane-eickhoff) Sun 16 Apr 06 14:01
Diane, can you tell us a bit about how these two proposed amendments got onto the ballot and what happened regarding the support Nichols expected from men? Thats an interesting comparison. Charlie Brown being duped by Lucy and early feminists being duped by their male allies. But in terms of suffrage, women couldnt just walk away, even if they wanted to. I think it was not so much like coming back every year to try and kick the pumplin as it was throwing pebbles at a large fortress day after day, year after year and expecting it to crumble. The same women who worked in the anti-slavery movement were involved in the early womens rights movement, and they werent just holding bake sales. Sure, they didnt have the same power as their male counterparts, but in some of the more liberal anti-slavery societies, women became frequent, sought-after public speakers. Women like Nichols wrote articles and editorials against slavery, harbored fugitive slaves, supported the war effort in many ways, and after it ended, worked to house and educate former slaves. Im not trying to paint a saintly picture. Racist stereotypes were the rule, not the exception, but the point is that the women who worked for womens equal rights worked hard in the anti-slavery movement. Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation in Jan. 1863. People often think this freed all the slaves in the country, but it didnt. It only freed the slaves who were living in Confederate lands over which Lincoln had no control. Slaves in the border states (like Missouri) that stayed with the Union were not freed. A few months after the E.P., Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony formed the Womans Loyal League. Their goal was to collect one signature for every slave in the country. They didnt meet that goal, but they did collect 400,000 signatures to a petition demanding an amendment that would free *all* slaves everywhere in the United States. (This happened in 1865.) The womens rights advocates had worked hard in the anti-slavery cause because they believed slavery was evil. But they also believed that working in the anti-slavery movement would help further their own cause. That the male leaders of the reform movement would remember the womens hard work and reward them with suffrage as soon as the war ended. It was the Negros hour, they were told, a time to gain voting rights for blacks. (Course that didnt mean all blacks -- only males.) The new Republican Party had its eye on all those freshly emancipated black males and wanted to swell the ranks of the party with new voters. Its a complicated story as to why they didnt want to bring in female voters at the same time -- which is what the women wanted -- but it didnt happen that way, logical as it might seem today. In the end female suffrage and black male suffrage were pitted against one another in Kansas in 1867, the first state to pass two amendments granting suffrage to both groups. The liberal male reformers ended up supporting black male suffrage and abandoning the woman suffrage campaign. The women felt betrayed, and the campaign turned nasty. It was a turning point for woman suffrage. (It's a chapter in Revolutionary Heart.)
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