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Stanton, Elizabeth Cady.

Address in Favor of Universal Suffrage.


Stanton As Universal Suffragist
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady. Address in Favor of Universal Suffrage...Before The Judiciary Committees of the Legislature of New York, in the Assembly Chamber, January 23, 1867...Albany: Weed, Parsons and Company, 1867.
8vo.; corners of few pages lightly folded; white printed wrappers, lightly soiled; previous owner's signature on cover.
First and only edition of the text of an address by Stanton to the New York State legislature. Stanton's remarks were delivered on behalf of the American Equal Rights Association, a short-lived, locally-based organization.
Founded in 1866, the American Equal Rights Association advocated equal rights for women and blacks. Officers included President Lucretia Mott; Vice-Presidents Stanton, Frederick Douglass, Theodore Tilton, Robert Purvis, Martha Wright, Francis Gage and Josephine Griffing; Correspondence Secretaries Susan B. Anthony, Mattie Griffith and Caroline Severance; and Executive Committee members Stanton, Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Antoinette Brown Blackwell and others. The failure of the American Equal Rights Association to win passage of two separate suffrage bills, one for women and one for blacks, in Kansas in 1867 led to the organization's demise and to Stanton's and Anthony's decision to dedicate their future efforts solely towards suffrage for women.
This pamphlet was published during a brief historical moment (circa 1866-67) in which mainstream feminists such as Stanton and Anthony actively supported simultaneous suffrage for women and blacks. Eventually abandoning this stance as impractical, they caused a major rift in the feminist movement; the abolitionist-based faction of the movement was led by Lucy Stone. The two competing factions were merged in 1890.
Here, Stanton embraces the rhetoric of universal suffrage that she would go on to denounce:
...women and negroes constituting a majority of the people of the state, do not recognize a 'white male' minority as their rightful rulers. On our republican theory that the majority governs, women and negroes should have a voice in the government of the State; and being taxed, should be represented....Where, gentlemen, did you get the right to deny the ballot to all women and black men not worth $250? If this right of suffrage is not an individual right, from what abstract place and body did you get it? (pp. 6, 14)
The final page prints a "Petition for Equal Suffrage" which readers are invited to fill out, circulate, and return to Susan B. Anthony of Rochester, New York.

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